Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Andrews, James R.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication Disorders


Laryngectomy; Consonants; Speech disorders


This study was designed to investigate the combined influence of air intake and articulation upon the perception of nasal consonants spoken by laryngectomized individuals. The subjects were classified according to the manner of air intake by means of clinical judgments made by Speech and Language Clinicians holding the Certificate of Clinical Competency in Speech-Language Pathology issued by the American Speech and Hearing Association. The subjects were divided into two groups of alaryngeal speakers; one consisting of five laryngectomees who used the injection method of air intake and one consisting of three laryngectomees who used inflation as their primary means of air intake. These groups were tape recorded while producing two sets of consonant-vowel stimuli initiated by either a nasal or non nasal consonant. The tape recordings were presented to a panel of ten listeners each of whom selected the syllable they heard from a choice of six possibilities. The results revealed that the consonant-vowel syllable production of those alaryngeal subjects who used the injection method of air intake was perceived more accurately than the syllable production of those speakers who used inhalation. Non nasal consonants were easier for the listeners to discriminate than were the nasal sounds. No one consonant was significantly more intelligible than the other. As a group, non-nasal consonants were perceived more accurately than nasal consonants. The non-nasal consonants produced by those laryngectomized subjects who used inhalation as their primary means of air intake were more intelligible to the listeners than either the nasal or non-nasal consonants spoken by alaryngeal speakers using the injection method of air intake. Nasal consonants were perceived much better by the listeners for those alaryngeal speakers who used the injection method of air intake than the same kind of consonant produced by the inhalation air intake method. The most significant interactions were the accurate perception of non-nasal sounds in inhalers and accurate perception of nasal sounds in injectors. The findings are generally supportive of the idea that the perception of non-nasal consonants is much better than the perception of nasal consonants. Further research is needed to substantiate the finding of the superiority of an injector's syllable production in addition to the interaction of air intake and consonant production. It appears that the questions raised in this study as well as the procedures utilized provide a realistic basis for further study. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.


75 pages




Northern Illinois University

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