1 Masaryk University Faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies English Language and Literature Eva Mlčáková Speech Defects in English Speaking and Czech Children Bachelor s Diploma Thesis Supervisor: PhDr. Kateřina Tomková, Ph.D. 2010
2 I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently, using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography... Author s signature
3 I would like to thank my supervisor PhDr. Kateřina Tomková, Ph.D. for her kind support, encouragement and guidance throughout the process of writing this thesis. I would like to thank the children and their parents who enabled me to obtain recordings needed for my research.
4 Table of Contents Glossary Introduction Motivation The Objective of the Thesis Speech Disorders History of Speech Disorders Speech Development Speech Therapists Particular Speech Disorders Articulation Problems Articulation Problems Treatment Stuttering, Cluttering Stuttering Treatment Aphasia Aphasia Treatment Delayed Speech Delayed Speech Treatment Voice Disorders Voice Disorders Treatment Speech Therapy Treatment Theory Speech Exercises Intelligence and Parental Attitude English and Czech Speech Sound Sets English Vocalic Set Czech Vocalic Set Consonants English Set of Consonants Czech Set of Consonants Pronunciation Differences Speech Disorders Frequency Czech and English Speech Relevant Statistics Czech Speech Relevant Statistics American Speech Relevant Statistics Statistics Comparison Conclusion Summary Anotace (Czech Summary) Works Cited List of References Appendix 1: CD with recorded children..55
6 Glossary At the beginning of the thesis there are listed and explained the main terms. They could be used as a source for deeper understanding and easy orientation in the text as well as in the topic. Most of these terms is used in the thesis. They were taken from David Crystal s A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (1985) and from A. C. Gimson s An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English (1976). Glossary Alveolar: When the blade, or tip and blade, of the tongue articulates with the alveolar ridge. Assimilation: The term refers to the influence exercised by one sound segment upon the articulation of another, so that the sounds become more alike or identical. Blade: The tapering section of tongue facing the teeth ridge. Bilabial: When the two lips are the primary articulators. Dental: When the tongue tip and rims articulate with the upper teeth. Diphthong: A term referring to a vowel sound that changes quality during its pronunciation. Dyslalia: A term referring to an articulation disorder resulting from structural abnormalities of the articulatory organs. Elision: A term referring to the omission of sounds in connected speech. Consonants and vowels may be affected, and sometimes whole syllables may be elided. Unstressed grammatical words (and, of) are particularly prone to be elided.
7 Friction: A term referring to the sound produced when air passes a constriction made in the vocal tract. Fricative: Sometimes called spirant, it refers to sounds made when two organs come so close together that the air moving between them produces audible friction. Groove: A term referring to a type of fricative where the tongue is slightly hollowed along its central line. IPA: An abbreviation for International Phonetic Alphabet which is a system of phonetic notation devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. Labio-dental: When the lower lip articulates with the upper teeth. Linking: A term referring to a sound which is introduced between linguistics units, usually for ease of pronunciation. Monophthong: A term referring to a vowel sound whose articulation at both beginning and end is fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation. Obstruent: A term referring to sounds involving a constriction which impedes the flow of air through nose or mouth, as in plosives, fricatives and affricates. Occlusion: A term used phonetics referring to the duration of the closure which is made while a plosive consonant is being articulated. Plosives are sometimes referred to as occlusives.
8 Phonation: Any vocal activity in the larynx whose role is tone neither of initiation nor of articulation. Plosive: A term referring to a sound made when a complete closure in the vocal tract is suddenly released. Sibilant: A term referring to a fricative sound made by producing a narrow groove-like stricture between the blade of the tongue and the back part of the alveolar ridge. Substitution: A term used in linguistics to refer to the process or result of replacing one item with another at a particular place in a structure. Tension: A term used in the phonetic classification of speech sounds, referring to the overall muscular tension used in sound producing. Triphtong: A term referring to a type of vowel where there are two noticeable changes in quality during a syllable. Vocal cords: Two muscular folds running from a single point inside the front of the thyroid cartilage (Adam s apple) backwards to the front ends of the arytenoids cartilages. Vocal cords are very flexible; they are shaped by the combined activities of the associated cartilages and muscles. The space between them is known as the glottis.
9 1. Introduction 1.1. Motivation My bachelor s thesis named Speech Defects in English Speaking and Czech children is inspired by speech and language pathologists who work mostly with children. Their profession includes not only the diagnosis of particular speech or language disorder and the establishing of a corresponding treatment but also a sympathetic approach to children suffering from any kind of speech disorder. As a high school student I participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange program and I spent one year in Virginia, USA in a family of a speech pathologist. Her approach to speech therapy was quite fascinating and therefore I became interested in speech and language disorders in children and their treatment. Thinking about achievements the children are able to reach, I realized it could be interesting and helpful to compile a summary of the most common speech and language disorders and their treatment The Objective of the Thesis Speech and language disorders are as old as is language itself but the scientific branch focused on speech and language disorders is quite young. Therefore a part of the thesis is devoted to both ontogenetic and phylogenetic development of disordered speech and also to the history of speech and language pathology as a scientific branch.
10 The thesis also focuses on particular speech disorders, their characterization and possible treatment. Parental attitude and the child s intelligence are influential factors in the development of any kind of speech impairment. Therefore a part of the thesis is devoted to this topic as well. A few basic instructions for parents are suggested. The practical part of my thesis is devoted to the comparison of speech and language disorders in English speaking and Czech children as well as to relevant speech pathology statistics. The aim of the comparison is to find out whether the level of speech therapy is higher in the Czech Republic or abroad. The information given about Czech children come from the ÚZIS (Ústav zdravotnických informací a statistiky) and they are statistics from the year Statistics including English speaking children are obtained by Miriam Gates Kerr who has her own office in Greensboro, NC specializing on children suffering from speech and language disorders and from the American Speech- Language- Hearing Association. Therefore it is crucial to observe that English speaking children involved in the research are of American origin. Information related to them is also taken from American English point of view. The practical part also contains charts and explanations of articulation of English and Czech vowel and consonant sets. When comparing speech disorders in English and Czech it is important to understand the differences in articulation in seemingly similar phonemes. Included are also definitions of connected speech, assimilation, elision and linking because speech disorders may appear in them as well. I have also obtained recordings of English
11 speaking and Czech speaking children suffering from speech disorders and I have analyzed them at the end of the practical part. The aim of the thesis is to comprehend the most common speech disorders and explain their treatment as well as to confront the statistics and the obtained recordings.
12 2. Speech Disorders 2.1. The History of Speech Disorders The history of speech and language disorders is uneasy to describe because the scientific branch devoted to them and their treatment, called speech pathology, speech and language pathology or logopaedics is quite young. The history of speech and language impairments starts with the history of speech therapy. The history of speech therapy could be analyzed from many aspects: examination of the history of the scientific branch, the history of speech therapy treatment or the history of speech therapy studies. It is important to combine all of the historical aspects to understand the modern development of speech disorders. The development of speech is the crucial feature in the history of speech defects and its theory. The first evidence of speech appears 3000 years BC. The establishment of speech in its written form proves that humans were able to use speech and they valuated it greatly. The first record of people with disordered speech or language appears in the 14 th century BC. It was usually people of high political rank such as kings and rulers. The need of speech and its written form increases in time. It is mainly because of the development of written forms of laws. The spoken languages were in need to be exact and the systematization of language and cultivation of speech followed as an outcome. The cultivation of abilities to communicate goes hand in hand with mentions of speech defects. They
13 appear mostly in the works of prominent scholars and thinkers (Škodová 2003: 19). The scientific approach appears in the 16 th and 17 th centuries. Scientific works devoted to disordered speech were written mostly by humanist scholars who try to define the systematic care of people suffering from defected speech. The first organized care of such people developed in the middle of the 18 th century. Thanks to the development of communication and technological advances, the scientists were able to use the theoretical knowledge in everyday life. From the second half of the 19 th century it was possible to unite the sounds and voice within long distances. The first books about speech theory are written mostly by German speaking authors. Nowadays speech therapy is classified as a scientific branch and its theories are applied in practice. The history of speech therapy is penetrated by two lines; it is the philosophical line which divides into many specialized branches such as rhetoric or pedagogy, and the biological line characterized by its medicine approach. There are many turning points throughout the history of speech therapy. The most significant belongs to the first use of the term logopaedics used by Isocrates 400 BC and the fact that ancient Roman culture recognized speech therapists that were called phonascos. Another significant turning point is the pediatric text book written by Mercurialis in A few of the chapters in the book refer to speech defects and they are considered as the first scientific tract devoted to defective communication abilities. Very significant were the works of J.C. Amman who is also known as the father of
14 logopaedics and the opening of the very first institute for mute people and people suffering from speech defects in 1778 whose founder was Samuel Heinicke. An important contribution to the development of speech therapy was the first magazine devoted to speech disorders published in 1891 by A. Gutzmann and H. Gutzmann called the Medizinisch- pädagogische Monatsschrift für gesamte Sprachheilkunde. The final and the greatest wave of development in the science began in the 20 th century when there were many books written and devoted to disordered speech and speech therapy became an accredited program at many universities. During World War II ( ), many servicemen developed speech defects as a result of war injuries. The need for speech rehabilitation services attracted large numbers of men and women to the profession of speech therapy. Many speech clinics opened, and research extended to speech problems and their causes. Since the end of World War II, the field of speech therapy has expanded rapidly. (Škodová 2003: 30-34) 2.2. Speech Development Speech is defined as a biological quality of humans only; it is a system that transfers information through language. In the history, from the phylogenetic point of view, there are many turning points which were important to the development of human communication. The first of these was the period of time when the human ancestor quit living its life in the trees and started to live on the ground. The motion on the ground changed the body proportions, the body started to
15 gradually straighten up; the facial part of skull was getting smaller and the purpose of front limbs was changing, they were not used for locomotion but for food searching. The need to communicate grows when humans unite to troops. This socialization happened around years ago and it was essential for the creatures to communicate. The building of an articulate speech is conditioned by the social behavior of a human kind. (Škodová 2003: 89) The ontological speech development begins with the newborn cry. The first cry is considered to be a reaction to the changes the newborn is going through. It is a reaction to the temperature change and later to the feeling of hunger. Therefore the children s language starts on a very simple level. After a few months are infants able to read lips and distinguish speech sounds. The language spoken by infants is called babbling. The first spoken words are very simple and they are usually not associated with any kind of meaning. As children grow their spoken words acquire meaning and there are distinguishable connections while words are being formed. (Škodová 2003: 90) 2.3. Speech Therapists Speech therapy is the treatment of speech and language disorders. Experts in the profession of speech therapy work mostly with children. These specialists, called speech therapists, classify and correct disordered speech and teach new speech skills. The field of speech therapy is often called speech pathology, and speech therapists are sometimes known as speech-language pathologists or speech clinicians (ASHA).
16 2.4. Particular Speech Disorders Speech disorders affect the language, the content of speech, or the function of language in communication. As speech disorders affect a person's ability to communicate effectively, every aspect of the person's life can be affected, for example, the person's ability to communicate at school or at work. It is believed that a minority but relevant percentage of children has speech and language impairment. The majority of them will not have any other significant developmental difficulties. The disorders resolve with the help of a speech therapist and effective speech treatment. (ASHA) Speech therapists divide speech defects into five main types: (1) articulation problems, such as the inability to produce certain sounds; (2) stuttering, cluttering, such as problems with slurred speech; (3) aphasia, the loss of the ability to speak or understand language; (4) delayed speech, a child's slow language development; and (5) voice disorders, including problems of pitch, voice quality, and volume. (Škodová 2003) Articulation Problems Articulation is the process when sounds, syllables, and words are formed. The tongue, jaw, lips, teeth, and palate adjust the air stream coming from the vocal folds (Crystal 1976: 8). Articulation problems evolve when the patient produces sounds, syllables, or words incorrectly so the listener does not understand what is being
17 said. The attention of the listener is paid more to the way the words sound than to what they mean. There are many types of sound errors but most of the mistakes fall into one of the three categories- omissions, substitutions, or distortions. An example of an omission is ot for hot or oo for shoe. An example of a substitution is the use of w for r which makes rabbit sound like wabbit, or the substitution of th for s so that son is pronounced thon. Distortion is when the sound is said incorrectly, but sounds something like the intended word (NIDCD). Articulation problems might be a result of a variety of physical handicaps, such as cleft palate, cerebral palsy, or hearing loss, or they might be related to other problems appearing in the mouth, such as dental problems. Most of the articulation problems occur in the absence of obvious physical disability. The cause of these functional articulation problems might be the incorrect learning of speech sounds (Škodová 2003) Articulation Problems Treatment For the treatment of articulation problems it is essential to identify the target of the treatment. The speech therapist must take into consideration many aspects of the articulation problems and also evaluate the patient s age and his or her abilities and the likelihood to succeed. Firstly the speech therapist must identify the defected sound and the frequency of its occurrence. The selected approach to the treatment must be appropriate for the individual and therefore it is very common to use a
18 combination of several approaches. After locating the defected phoneme, the patient should focus on practicing the sound and when the sound is being pronounced correctly the focus moves to practicing the sound in syllable, word and lastly in a sentence. The treatment should lead to a stabilization of the correct sound. Phonological treatment process is required for the treatment of articulation problems. The patient should focus on the sound primarily by listening and after correct pronunciation is produced he or she should remember what the particular sound feels like when it is being created in the mouth. The correct practice with the speech therapist is more important than the number of executed attempts (Škodová 2003) Stuttering, Cluttering Stuttering (alalia syllabaris), also known as stammering, is a speech defect in which the flow of speech is infringed by involuntary repetitions and extensions of sounds, syllables, words or phrases. Also a silent pause in which the person suffering from stuttering is unable to produce sounds might occur (Bloodstein 1961: 662) Stuttering Treatment There are not many known treatments for people suffering from stuttering. When stuttering occurs in children it is most likely that they will recover naturally. The only treatments known by speech therapists are stretching vowels and consonants to create a fluent flow of words even though
19 it creates a monotone speech. After learning the fluency skills, the patient is able to work on the intonation. Enough of practicing should lead to a creation of every day normal speech. Another therapy was introduced by Charles Van Riper who established the so-called modification therapy. It is based on the thought that stuttering does not have to be eliminated but modified. There are also many anti- stuttering medications. Despite of their positive outcome the side effects are often very unpleasant. Also many group therapies have evolved, but there is not any 100% working cure for stuttering (Ball 1988: 51-53) Aphasia Aphasia is a language disorder resulting from brain damage. It affects the parts of brain responsible for language. Most people have these parts on the left hemisphere of the brain. Aphasia is a disorder appearing suddenly, usually as a result of a head injury or a stroke. It can also develop slowly as a result of a growing tumor, cancer or a brain infection. A person suffering from aphasia has difficulties with understanding and production of language and sometimes with reading and writing as well Aphasia Treatment The aim of aphasia s treatment is to improve or recover the ability to communicate. The essential thing for the speech therapist is to know what caused the damage, what part of brain was damaged, how big the damage is
20 and the general condition of the patient. Speech therapists are not the only professionals who deal with the person who has been affected by aphasia. The treatment includes regular visits to neurologists, physicians and the care of nurses. In case the damage on the brain is not too extensive, spontaneous recovery without treatment is not unheard of. Spontaneous recovery is possible in a few hours or a few days but only when the cause of aphasia was a brain stroke. In most cases of aphasia, the recovery is not that quick or complete. Speech therapists believe that the most effective treatment is in the time immediately following the stroke or head injury, very early after the patient has been affected by aphasia. For full recovery it is essential that the patient has the support of the family and the motivation to recover. The fundamental aspects of the treatment are simplifying of the spoken language, letting the patient be involved in a natural conversation, or repeat difficult words; not distracting the patient while speaking, for example do not talk with the TV or radio on; asking the patient questions; encouraging him or her to try to answer and give him or her as much time as needed. There are also many computer programs that help with the recovery; they extend the patient s vocabulary and provide many exercises. (Škodová 2003: ) Delayed Speech Delayed speech refers to a delay in the development of mechanisms that produce speech. There is a difference in the development of speech and language. They both are an independent stage and in a normal development they progress in the same time, but in cases of delayed development they
21 might be individually affected. For example, a patient might be delayed in speech, but not delayed in language. That means that the patient is unable to produce understandable speech sounds and would be attempting to produce an age-appropriate amount of language, but this language would be difficult or impossible to understand (Škodová 2003: 91-95) Delayed Speech Treatment The treatment of delayed speech depends on its cause. If there is a hearing loss or a mental retardation it is not the speech therapist that is able to help. There are two types of speech delay; one is called the expressive delay and in this case the patient is unable to generate speech. Receptive speech delay is based on the inability to understand the language. In both cases is essential the parental attitude, since it is them who spend the most time with the patient. To improve the speech delay they should read aloud to the child, use simple language, be very patient and use no force and be positive while speaking to the child. (Škodová 2003: 92) Voice disorders Voice is the sound made by the airflow coming from the lungs through the larynx (the voice box). The lungs must produce air pressure to vibrate vocal cords, two bands of muscles that vibrate and produce sound. Muscles of the
22 larynx adjust the tension and length of the created sound and they give the voice a particular tone and pitch. Parts of the vocal tract called the articulators (palate, cheek, lips, tongue etc.) filter and articulate the sound coming from the larynx. There are many things that can injure the vocal cords. Disordered voice is very clearly recognizable. The patient affected by voice disorders has difficulties with the vocal quality and the out coming sound is very abnormal to the listener. Voice disorders can have a sudden development or a slow development. Examples of sudden development are: infection, dangerous inhalation, trauma, allergic reaction etc. Examples of slow development are: vocal abuse or misuse, chronic allergies, degenerative neurological disease or musculo-skeletal tension (NIDCD) Voice Disorders Treatment Identifying the cause of the voice disorder is the first step to the effective treatment. There are many approaches to the treatment of voice disorders and only one of them called the voice therapy is a task for a speech therapist. Surgical and medical treatments usually precede voice therapy. Because the cause of voice disorders is mostly the vocal chords it is important to take an appropriate care of them. The hygiene and proper hydration are no less important than voice therapy (NIDCD).
23 3. Speech Therapy 3.1. Treatment Theory Language or speech therapy is the treatment for children with any kind of language or speech disorder. It is essential for the speech therapist to screen and observe the patient s abilities and map the particular problematic areas. Every speech therapist s intercession is therefore based on an individual approach and on the communication skills of the patient. It is crucial to examine all areas of communicative function and do a very thorough assessment of the areas that might be problematic. The speech therapist usually runs many different types of tests including a variety of clinical observations and standardized tests. Depending on the affected area the speech therapist decides what the issue of the disorder is. If there is a problem dealing with delayed speech the assessment will focus on language development. If there is a fluency issue the therapist will focus on fluency evaluation. Other patients might have different problems and therefore the assessment will focus on voice, swallowing etc. In some cases there is a need of a combined assessment and speech therapists often cooperate with a number of professionals from other scientific branches such as medical practitioners, psychologists, nurses or audiologists. From a carefully chosen assessment the speech therapist derives the information and is able to formulate an individual diagnosis and has enough essential information so he or she can evolve a particular therapy plan (ASHA).
24 3.2. Speech exercises Every single therapy chosen by the speech therapist must be scientifically based and there is a research needed for any technique used in the therapy. One of the varieties of speech exercises are so- called oral motor exercises. These exercises are usually a prominent component while treating a patient with any kind of a speech disorder. Oral motor exercises are activities including sucking a drink through a straw, chewing objects made out of rubber or balloon blowing. Although these exercises sound like fun more than a serious therapy they are essential for articulation skills improvement and the fact that patients usually enjoy the exercises only helps the purpose of the therapy. Oral motor exercises by themselves do not improve speech output because they are only an adjunct to traditional speech therapy. But it is an important adjunct because these exercises increase the power of articulators, they help to control oral movements and they are helpful at the beginnings of therapies because they warm up the speech musculature. Working on a fluency shaping is a therapy targeted not only on stutters but also on other patients with different disorder because fluent and correct speech is the goal of every speech therapist. Many therapists use the exercise and make the patient focus on stretching the vowels in the sentence. The aim of this exercise is to stretch the vowels and lengthen them so it takes up to two seconds to pronounce one syllable. The speech then sounds extremely slow but it helps the patient to master the fluency. Once he or she is able to speak fluently with stretched vowels it is easier to switch to normal fluency.
25 For a person suffering from any kind of a speech or language disorder is relaxed and controlled breathing a key to a fluent and correct speech and language. There are two types of breathing; one is called the diaphragmatic breathing and the other one thoracic breathing. The distinction can be easily recognized. When the patient puts one hand on his or her stomach and feels the movement, the breaths are equal in time; it is called a diaphragmatic breathing (NLM). Upper chest breathing is called thoracic; the patient is able to feel it when he or she puts a hand on his or her chest. The inhalation is quick, it fills lungs with a great amount of air and its releasing takes more time. A useful practice of relaxed breathing is switching diaphragmatic breathing with thoracic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is good to use when the patient suffers from stuttering because the breaths inhaled are equal with the exhaled breaths in time. The stutter is able to produce less speech but the quality of produced speech is better. The aim of breathing exercises is to develop breathing in between the diaphragmatic and thoracic breathing (NLM). Phonation is a process when the vocal folds vibrate and produce sound (Gimmson 1970: 9). A useful exercise to master phonation is to take a deep breath and put fingers on the throat so the patient is able to feel the vibration when the air comes out of the lunges. The patient can also exercise tightening and releasing the vocal folds. The patient can also work on mastering the volume. With fingers still on the throat is easy to feel and hear the volume when humming through the vocal folds. Practicing on the sound of the voice is similar to the previous exercises, it is enough to tighten the vocal folds to
26 produce a higher- pitched voice and release the tension and relax the vocal folds when producing a deep voice (ASHA) Intelligence and Parental Attitude David L. Mackaye mentions in his Interrelations of Speech and Intelligence the connection of speech and intelligence. He states that intelligence, as the word used in education, refers to abilities identical or highly correlated with speech functions (Mackaye). Parental attitude is closely related to speech intelligence of their child. The environment the child is growing up in is very important to the development of the so-called vocabulary vehicle. It is a common observation that the quality of individual speech depends on the experience the person is exposed to. Rich experience leads to a better speech performance (Mackaye). The parental attitude is essential when dealing with a child with any type of a speech or language disorder. It is fundamental not only for the correction of the disorders but also for their prevention. There are many cases when parents decide to go to see the speech therapist with their child after they have used all of the misleading advice from their friends or ambiguous periodicals. A very common disorder is a child s creation of a specific language not understandable to anyone else. Because parents usually understand their child better than anyone else they do not see the need of consulting a speech therapist. The child is handicapped when he or she is only integrated in a society of children of his or her own age. Although the creation of a specific
27 language is not classified as a speech disorder the treatment of it is necessary. Untreated it might cause speech delay or mumbling. The prevention of the speech disorders is useful only when the articulation disorders or stuttering are considered. The parent is encouraged to keep eye contact with the child so it is clear that there is an attention paid to what he or she is saying. It is important not to finish sentences or questions for the child, even when the purpose of the question is clear, the parent should let him or her finish. A receptive attitude is also needed. Even before the child starts speaking the parents should read to the child and after speech is developed encourage the child to answer simple questions from the book that was read. Book reading also helps developing a wider vocabulary. Patience and positive thinking is very important for the child s correct speech development. The parent should always articulate clearly and should never repeat any mistakes the child has made. Correction is in place, but only when it is said in a positive voice. The example of a good correction is when the child sees the doll and asks for the do and the parent answers here is your doll emphasizing the last word and especially its last syllable (ASHA). Parents should observe what the reaction of their friends or teachers to their child s speech is because they usually understand better what their child is saying. Paying attention to the child in general is the best prevention from speech and language disorders.
28 4. English and Czech Speech Sounds Sets When talking about the differences and comparisons in the disordered pronunciation in English and Czech children it is important to understand the difference between these two languages from the phonetic point of view. In both of the languages listed above there are sets of vowels and consonants. Unlike consonants vowels are sounds produced with no constriction in the vocal tract. Vowels are shaped in the mouth which works like a resonator. The vowels form frictionless sounds and their qualities are defined by their timbre. The timbre (also called color) is expressed by the percentage of its formant frequencies in the mouth resonator (Bělíček) English Vocalic Set The acoustic qualities are fixed by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The IPA symbols for basic English vowels and diphthongs are: / / - a lax central mid- low vowel corresponding to graphemes u- and o- (nut, lucky, honey) / / - a tense closed front monophthong (mood, few, true) / / - a half- tense front open vowel (bad, pack, fat) / / - a lax mid- high front monophthong (many, red, bed) / / - a reduced central mid- low mixed vowel in unstressed syllables / / - a central mid- low tense monophthong arisen from contraction with preceding vowels (hurt, her, first) / / - a lax closed front monophthong (sick, pit, lick)
29 / / - a tense closed front monophthong (cheap, feet, sea) / / - a lax back open monophthong (god, stop, pot) / / - a tense mid- high monophthong (court, sport, more) / / - a lax closed back rounded monophthong (put, bull, foot) / / - a tense closed front monophthong (tune, few, mood) / / - a front falling diphthong (my, nice, lie) / /- a back falling diphthong (rope, low, hope) / / - a front falling diphthong (say, main, rain) / /- a back falling diphthong (proud, now, how) / / - a falling diphthong (annoy, boy, toy) / /- a back centring diphthong (more, pore) / / - a front centring diphthong (here, near, beer) / /- a back centring diphthong (cruel, pure, fuel) There are a few phonologically relevant criteria allowing classifying the English vowel system: Frontality Determine the vowels by the horizontal position of the tongue. The scale is divided into three levels: front, central and back. Front vowels are: / / / / / / / / Central vowels are: / / / / / / / / Back vowels are: / / / / / / / /
30 Openness Specifies whether the mouth is open or closed, Vowels may be low, mid- low, mid and high. High vowels are: / / / / / / / / Mid vowels are: / / / / / / / Low vowels are: / / / / / / / / Roundness In modern English roundness ceased to function as a phonologically relevant feature. Rounded vowels are: / / / / Unrounded vowels are: / / / / / / Tension Tension is a phonologic feature common to both vowels and consonants. Diphthongs belong to the group of tense vowel sounds. Tense vowels have a different timbre, a higher pitch and tone and a higher amount of articulatory energy than lax vowels. The system of lax vowels is a symmetric elevation of tense vowels. Lax vowels are: / / / / / / / / / / Tense vowels are: / / / / / / / / / / / / Diphthongs are an independent vowel category. They are affricates of two vowels. Diphthongs show little symmetry with monophthongs in articulatory positions.
31 Czech set of vowels is not as wide as the English vowel set (Bělíček 1993: 40-46) Czech Vocalic Set According to Krčmová s Úvod do Fonetiky a Fonologie there are only 10 basic vowels and 3 diphthongs. The determining factor in Czech vowels is the length. There are five short vowels: /i/ /ɪ/ - a short closed front unrounded monophthong /u/ /ʊ/- a short closed back rounded monophthong /e/ /ɛ/ - a short mid- front unrounded monophthong /o/ /o/ - a short mid- back rounded monophthong /a/ /a/ - a short open central unrounded monophthong There are five long vowels: /í/ /i: / - a long closed front unrounded monophthong /ú/ /u:/- a long closed back rounded monophthong /é/ /ɛː/- a long central front unrounded monophthong /ó/ /o:/- a long central back rounded monophthong /á/ /a:/- a long open central unrounded monophthong There are three diphthongs in Czech: / represented by au / represented by eu / represented by ou
32 4.3. Consonants The vocalic systems differ in many ways but the way of pronouncing particular vowels is similar in both languages. Important fact is that vowels are frictionless and therefore neither in English nor in Czech, vowels are not a source of many speech disorders. The challenging factors are consonants because they are sounds articulated with partial or complete closure of the vocal tract (Škodová) English Set of Consonants There is twenty one consonant letters in the English alphabet but twenty four consonant sounds. Consonants are articulated in two ways. Either there is a closing movement of one of the vocal organs, which would form a narrow constriction so it is possible to hear the air passing through; or the movement of closing is complete and it gives a total blockage called occlusion (Bělíček). The lips, the tongue, or the throat may be involved in the closing movement but the overall effect differs in each case from the open and frictionless articulation found in vowels. Consonants usually come in pairs of voiced and unvoiced sounds. The soft palate is raised and no air comes through the nose during the pronunciation except in the nasal consonants /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/ when the soft palate remains lowered (Crystal). English consonant sounds are: /p/, /b/- bilabial plosives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, a complete closure is made by the upper and lower lip. /p/ is voiceless, /b/ is voiced.
33 /t/, /d/- alveolar plosives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, a complete closure is made by the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge and side teeth. /t/ is voiceless, /d/ is voiced. /k/, /g/- velar plosives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, a complete closure is made by the back of the tongue against the soft palate. /k/ is voiceless, /g/ is voiced. /f/,/v/- labio- dental fricatives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, a high contact made by lower lip against upper teeth. /f/ is voiceless, /v/ is voiced. /ð/, /θ/- dental fricatives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, the tip of the tongue makes a light contact with the upper incisors, and a stronger contact with upper side teeth. /ð/ is voiced, /θ/ is voiceless. /s/, /z/- alveolar fricatives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, tip of the tongue and its blade make a light contact with alveolar ridge. Air escapes along a groove in the centre of the tongue. /s/ is voiceless, /z/ is voiced. /ʃ/, /ʒ/- palato- alveolar fricatives, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, tip of the tongue and its blade make a light contact with alveolar ridge. Tip of the tongue is raised towards hard palate, and rims are put in contact with upper side teeth. /ʃ/ is voiceless, /ʒ/ is voiced. /h/ - glottal fricative, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, air coming from the lungs causes a friction as it passes the open glottis, and resonates through the vocal tract.
34 /tʃ/,/dʒ/- palato- alveolar affricates, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, a closure is made by the tip of the tongue, blade and rims against the alveolar ridge and side teeth. Front of the tongue is raised towards the hard palate. Escaping air gives a palatoalveolar quality when the closure is released. /m/ - bilabial nasal, when pronouncing the soft palate is lowered, a total closure is made by the lips. /m/ is voiced. /n/ - bilabial nasal, when pronouncing the soft palate is lowered, a closure is made by the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge and the upper side of teeth. /n/ is voiced /ŋ/ - velar nasal, when pronouncing the soft palate is lowered, a closure is made by the back of the tongue and the soft palate. /ŋ/ is voiced. /l/ - lateral, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, a closure is made by the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge. /l/ is usually voiced. /r/ - post alveolar approximant, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised, the tip of the tongue is held close to the back of the alveolar ridge, the central part of the tongue is lowered. The lip position is influenced by the following vowel. /w/ - labio- velar semi- vowel, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised. Tongue is in the position of a close back vowel, the lips are rounded, tension is greater than for / /. /j/ - palatal semi- vowel, when pronouncing the soft palate is raised. Tongue is in the position of a front close vowel. Lip position is influenced by the following vowel.
35 4.5. Czech Set of Consonants As contrasted to English, Czech language has a set of twenty seven consonant sounds. Marie Krčmová describes their articulation excellently in Úvod do Fonetiky a Fonologie pro Bohemisty. Unlike English there is a variety of Czech consonants articulated differently and atypically for foreign languages. Description of Czech consonants: /p/, /b/, /m/- bilabial occlusives (explosives), when pronouncing the upper and lower lip is touching. Tongue is in a neutral but not passive position. When pronouncing /p/ lips only are participating; vocal chords participate in /b/ and /m/. Velum participates in /m/ and opens nasal resonator pass. /t/, /d/, /n/- alveolar (prealveolar) occlusives (explosives), when pronouncing a prealveolar closure is made by rims and the tip of the tongue. In these consonants the place of articulation changes. When pronouncing /t/ the tip of the tongue is closer to the alveolar ridge than in pronunciation of /n/. Vocal chords participate in /d/ and /n/. Mouth cavity resonation participates in /n/. /c/, /ɟ/, /ɲ/- palatal occlusives, tongue is used when pronouncing. Articulation is similar to alveolar occlusives but the closure made by the tongue is wider. The tip of the tongue is behind the lower incisive teeth. In some cases sibilance appears when articulating. /k/, /g/, /ŋ/- velar occlusives, a closure is made close to soft palate. The exact place of closure is difficult to establish because the articulation
36 depends on the surrounding vowels. Active articulator is the back of the tongue and the explosion made is stronger than in the others occlusives. /ʔ / - laryngeal occlusive (glottal), also known as glottal stop. It is unvoiced plosive and the length of the explosion is similar as in /p/. ts dz tʃ dʒ/- semi- occlusives might be characterized as occlusives with unstable closure. They are similar to sibilants and therefore they are sometimes called asibilants. /f/, /v/ - labiodental constrictives, when pronouncing a narrow is made by upper incisive teeth and lower lip. Tongue is in a neutral position. /s/, /z/ - prealveolar constrictives, tongue is brought near to alveolas where a groove is made. Air stream comes through the groove and the tip of the tongue touches lower incisive teeth. /ʃ/, /ʒ/ - post alveolar constrictives, pronunciation similar to /s/, /z/. The groove made is wider. Tip of the tongue rises up and enlarges front part of the mouth cavity where are the sounds created. /j/- palatal constrictive, when pronouncing, tip of the tongue touches lower incisive teeth and a groove is created between hard palate and tongue blade. It is a voiced consonant but it has not an unvoiced corresponding consonant. /x/- velar constrictive, place of articulation is similar as in /k/ and /g/. The articulatory organ is the back of the tongue and its tip touches lower
37 incisive teeth. /h/- laryngeal constrictive created in the vocal chords. /l/- lateral constrictive, when pronouncing, tip of the tongue is closely pressed to the alveolar ridge. Tongue sides create a passage for the air stream. /r/, /- vibrant constrictives, when pronouncing /r/ tongue sides are pressed towards hard palate and its tip oscillates towards alveolas. Oscillation in /ř/ is two times faster than in /r/ Pronunciation differences There are not many pronunciation differences among the vowel sets and articulation disorders emerge in them rarely. The most significant differences are hearable and they appear in both of the consonant sets. Among all the most noticeable difference between English and Czech consonant pronunciation is /r/. When pronouncing the English /r/ tongue does not oscillate towards alveolas as it is in Czech /r/. Tongue is in a different position when pronouncing Czech /s/ and /z/, its tip touches lower incisive teeth. In English is the tip of the tongue close to the alveolar ridge. Another from Czech sibilants /c/ is unknown in English because consonant c is pronounced in the same way as consonant s. Aspiration appearing in English /k/, /p/ and /t/ is a phenomenon hearable in English only when compared to Czech (Thornbury 1997, Pačesová 1968). Pronunciation differences guarantee a wide variety of articulation problems. Substituting and omitting is therefore possible to appear in different consonants. As a demonstration of the articulation disorders diversity there is a
38 CD attached at the end of the thesis with recordings of both, Czech children with disordered speech as well as English children with disordered speech.
39 5. Speech Disorders Frequency Speech disorders in children are mostly a matter of a variety of articulation problems. But here are also a few aspects that might defect speech fluency. In some cases children are not able to distinguish the differences in written and spoken language; these disorders are then called grammatical language disorders. According to Julie Dockrell and David Messer these children may form a special subgroup of children with speech and language disorders (Dockrell, Messer, 52, 1999). One of the problematic issues is connected speech defined by David Crystal Connected speech refers to spoken language when analyzed as a continuous sequence, as in normal utterances and conversations (Crystal). There are changes happening to sounds, words or phrases when used in connected speech. An example of unit change is the word and becoming /n/ in the phrase boys and girls (Crystal). Grammatical language disorders, as is a disorder in connected speech, may also occur in assimilation or linking words and phrases. Assimilation refers to the influence exercised by one sound segment upon the articulation of another, so that the sounds become more alike or identical (Crystal). Crystal also assumes that there is a little chance that assimilation and other features of connected speech will be noticed if the speech is spoken a word of a time with pauses corresponding to the spaces of the written language (Crystal). An example of a total assimilation is seen in a phrase ten mice /tem mais/. Another quite usual problem is elision which refers to the omission of sounds in connected speech. Consonants and vowels may be affected, and sometimes whole syllables may be elided. Unstressed grammatical words (and,
40 of) are particularly prone to be elided (Crystal). Phrase cup of tea /cuppa tea/ is an example of elision. Another significant grammatical language aspect is linking words and phrases. Linking refers to a sound which is introduced between linguistics units, usually for ease of pronunciation (Crystal). The most familiar example of this process is English /r/. It is introduced without being present in the writing. Shah of /ʃa: r əv/. Grammatical language disorders are not as common but it is important to distinguish them from articulation disorders because grammatical language disorders are caused by brain. They are effectively treated once a patient is diagnosed with them.
41 6. Czech and English Speech Pathology Relevant Statistics The information taken into comparison involves only children in the age 0-19 for Czech children and 3-21 for English speaking children with any kind of a speech or language disorder. Information about patients older than 19 or 21 will be shown only as a matter of interest and will not be involved in the comparison. Disorders caused by mental retardation, hearing loss or aphasia will also not be involved. The statistics of the speech disorder appearance and their possible treatment for Czech children are taken from Ústav zdravotnických informací a statistiky ČR (ÚZIS). Information used are statistics from the year of 2008 because the data for the year of 2009 has yet to be processed. Statistics involving English speaking children are mostly taken from the American Speech- Language- Hearing Association (ASHA) and partially from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Therefore the given information includes only children living in the USA Czech Speech Relevant Statistics Into consideration is taken the population of the Czech Republic which is approximately According to ÚZIS there are 332 registered speech and language therapists within the Czech Republic. Each one of them, if considering the average working hours, examines 2640 times per year. The overall number of the patient consultations with speech therapists is
42 When divided, 3.19 speech and language therapists fall on a population of people. Out of a population of 1000 people, of them are suffering from any kind of a speech or language disorder. They are also registered as patients of a particular speech and language therapist depending on the region of their place of residence. When considering the age, the majority, exactly 94% of patients are children and youth under the age of 19. There are 36 patients under the age of 19 in the population of 1000 respondents who are also under the age of 19. Articulation problems are considered to be the majority of treated speech disorders. The following diagram shows the lay-out of the particular treated disorders. From the diagram above it is visible that dyslalia is the most common speech disorder appearing in children and youth in the age of 0-19.
43 As a comparison to the numbers shown in the diagram above there is a diagram showing what kind of a speech disorder is the most common in patients of the age 20 and more American Speech Relevant Statistics Into consideration is taken the population of the USA which is approximately people. The number of registered speech and language pathologists is Almost 7.5 million people suffer from a speech disorder not including patients handicapped with mental retardation, hearing loss or aphasia. Out of these 7.5 million are children of the age 3-21 which are considered to be approximately 5% of the population. It is alarming that only 24% of the handicapped children, which is approximately receive help from speech pathologists. According to the United States Department of Education, speech and language impairments account for
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