An evaluation of articulatory working space area in vowel production of adults with Down syndrome

Kate Bunton, Mark Leddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Many adolescents and adults with Down syndrome have reduced speech intelligibility. Reasons for this reduction may relate to differences in anatomy and physiology, both of which are important for creating an intelligible speech signal. The purpose of this study was to document acoustic vowel space and articulatory working space for two adult speakers with Down syndrome who had reduced speech intelligibility (mean = 56% based on single words). Articulatory data for the tongue were collected using a real-time flesh-point tracking method (i.e. X-ray microbeam). Results show smaller F1-F2 acoustic vowel space area for both speakers with Down syndrome compared with the control speakers. Reduced articulatory working space area and slower movement speed were also found for three of the four tongue points analysed. Although generalizations are limited by the small number of participants, findings warrant further investigation of the underlying articulatory characteristics of speech production for individuals with Down syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Down syndrome
  • X-ray microbeam
  • acoustic vowel space
  • speech intelligibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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