Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jackson, Pamela L.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication Disorders


Deaf; Speech perception


The purpose of the present investigation was to develop and evaluate speech discrimination materials for use with prelinguistically hearing-impaired young adults. Twelve experimental sentences and two practice sentences were developed using the syntactic structures of SUBJECT-VERB-OBJECT and SUBJECT-VERB-ADJECTIVE. Monosyllabic words were used to construct the sentences which were designed so that a change in the primary stress would change the connotative meaning of the sentence. For each sentence, four connotatively different items were generated. The sentences were randomized into two lists, each containing the same 48 sentences, and were recorded along with the practice sentences on magnetic tape. The two randomized lists and the practice sentences comprised the Stress Pattern Recognition in Sentences (SPRIS) Test. Twenty-seven hearing-impaired young adults served as subjects for the investigation. All subjects had long-standing sensori-neural hearing impairments which ranged from moderate to profound in degree. The subjects were characterized by a variety of language, communication, and educational abilities and, thus, there was little homogeneity within the experimental group. All of the recorded materials were presented to each subject at a most comfortable listening level (MCL). The subjects were instructed to point to the sentence that was spoken and to indicate the loudest word in each sentence. Responses were selected from a response board containing a printed list of the 12 test sentences. Responses for each ear were scored in two ways: (1) percent correct sentence recognition and (2) percent correct sentence stress pattern recognition. The frequency distributions for sentence and sentence stress pattern recognition revealed biomodal tendencies within both sets of data. Each of the sets of scores was then plotted as a function of mean hearing threshold level (500, 1000, and 2000 Hz), and performance trends were extracted.


82 pages




Northern Illinois University

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