Phonological systems and intelligibility of Mandarin-speaking 4-years olds in Taiwan

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Chen, Kai-Mei
Hodson, Barbara Williams, 1937-
Strattman, Kathy H.

The goal of this research project was to investigate speech productions (deviations/patterns) of two groups of Taiwanese-Mandarin-speaking 4-year olds. The primary purpose was to determine which, if any, of the following variables predict the criterion variable, intelligibility (Percentage of Intelligible Words [PIW]): (a) Total Occurrences of Major Phonological Deviations (TOMPD), (b) Percentages of Consonants Correct (PCC), and (c) Mean Lengths of Response (MLR). The second major purpose was to determine and compare the performances of the two groups of 4-years olds: (a) typically developing (TD) children, and (b) children with speech sound disorders (SSD). All participants were assessed individually, and their speech was recorded during the assessment. Next, a receptive language test was administered. The co-investigator then showed each child some toys and then played with him/her. The speech samples were transcribed and analyzed. The results indicated that only one variable predicted intelligibility as a result of the regression model. Phonological deviations accounted for 74% of the variance (T=-7.062, p=.000). A t-test was used to examine differences between the means of the two groups. Consonant sequence omissions, liquid deficiencies, nasal deficiencies, and strident deficiencies occurred most frequently. All of the Major Phonological Deviations occurred in the speech productions of children with SSD.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders