Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Published in Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 19:4 (June 2005), pp.: 335–359; doi: 10.1080/02699200500085426 Copyright © 2005 Taylor & Francis Ltd. Used by permission.


Few empirical findings or technical guidelines are available on the current transition from analog to digital audio recording in childhood speech sound disorders. Of particular concern in the present context was whether a transition from analog- to digital-based transcription and coding of prosody and voice features might require re-standardizing a reference database for research in childhood speech sound disorders. Two research transcribers with different levels of experience glossed, transcribed, and prosody-voice coded conversational speech samples from eight children with mild to severe speech disorders of unknown origin. The samples were recorded, stored, and played back using representative analog and digital audio systems. Effect sizes calculated for an array of analog versus digital comparisons ranged from negligible to medium, with a trend for participants’ speech competency scores to be slightly lower for samples obtained and transcribed using the digital system. We discuss the implications of these and other findings for research and clinical practice.