A sindscal analysis of perceptual features for consonants produced by esophageal and tracheoesophageal talkers


This study was concerned with the perceptual responses of normal-hearing listeners to consonants produced by esophageal and tracheoesophageal (TE) talkers and a single talker who was proficient in both of these alaryngeal speech modes. The listeners' perceptual responses were analyzed using Symmetric Individual Differences Scaling (SINDSCAL) to determine whether distinctive feature differences existed between these two methods of alaryngeal speech. This is a posteriori analysis revealed that primary features retrieved for both speech methods included sibilant, affricate, dental, nasal, and sonorant. Although greater perceptual weightings were observed for TE speech, these productive/perceptual features were weighted similarly for both speech methods. Some secondary group-specific feature differences were also observed, but these features did not contribute substantially to the total amount of variance accounted for in the analysis. Thus, the SINDSCAL results showed that the groups did not use different feature systems. These results are discussed in regard to the unique alaryngeal speech production methods employed by esophageal and TE talkers and the relative limitations of the alaryngeal (esophageal) voicing source they use. General clinical implications of the data are discussed.

Publication Title

Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders