Breath Group Analysis for Reading and Spontaneous Speech in Healthy Adults
Date of this Version
Aims: The breath group can serve as a functional unit to define temporal and fundamental frequency (f0) features in continuous speech. These features of the breath group are determined by the physiologic, linguistic, and cognitive demands of communication. Reading and spontaneous speech are two speaking tasks that vary in these demands and are commonly used to evaluate speech performance for research and clinical applications. The purpose of this study is to examine differences between reading and spontaneous speech in the temporal and f0 aspects of their breath groups.
Methods: Sixteen participants read two passages and answered six questions while wearing a circumferentially vented mask connected to a pneumotach. The aerodynamic signal was used to identify inspiratory locations. The audio signal was used to analyze task differences in breath group structure, including temporal and f0 components.
Results: The main findings were that spontaneous speech task exhibited significantly more grammatically inappropriate breath group locations and longer breath group duration than did the passage reading task.
Conclusion: The task differences in the percentage of grammatically inadequate breath group locations and in breath group duration for healthy adult speakers partly explain the differences in cognitive-linguistic load between the passage reading and spontaneous speech.