Nasal and oral inspiration during natural speech breathing

Rosemary A. Lester, Jeannette D. Hoit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the typical pattern for inspiration during speech breathing in healthy adults, as well as the factors that might influence it. Method: Ten healthy adults, 18-45 years of age, performed a variety of speaking tasks while nasal ram pressure, audio, and video recordings were obtained. Inspirations were categorized as nasal-only, oral-only, simultaneous nasal and oral, or alternating nasal and oral inspiration. The method was validated using nasal airflow, oral airflow, audio, and video recordings for 2 participants. Results: The predominant pattern was simultaneous nasal and oral inspirations for all speaking tasks. This pattern was not affected either by the nature of the speaking task or by the phonetic context surrounding the inspiration. The validation procedure confirmed that nearly all inspirations during counting and paragraph reading were simultaneous nasal and oral inspirations, whereas for sentence reading, the predominant pattern was alternating nasal and oral inspirations across the 3 phonetic contexts. Conclusions: Healthy adults inspire through both the nose and mouth during natural speech breathing. This pattern of inspiration is likely beneficial in reducing pathway resistance while preserving some of the benefits of nasal breathing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-742
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Nasal pressure
  • Oral and nasal airflow
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Nasal and oral inspiration during natural speech breathing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this