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Investigating linguistic prosodic ability in adult speakers of English

Peppé, Susan Jean Evadne; (1998) Investigating linguistic prosodic ability in adult speakers of English. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The project examines prosodic ability in the normal adult population of speakers of southern British English. In the absence of documented normative data, a new test designed to cover the comprehension and production of the forms and some common functions of English prosody was administered to a group of people participating in the project. It is intended that this test should provide a tool for the assessment of prosodic impairment in clients with speech and language disorders, and that the process of administering the test to a group of English adults without speech and language disorders should yield useful data on prosodic norms. The test investigates the phonetic features of loudness, tempo, rhythmicality, pitch and pitch-range, pitch movement (its presence and direction), accent and silence within utterances, and the way they function phonologically to achieve aspects of communication which include topic-delimitation, focus and affect. It ascertains participants' receptive and productive ability concerning each of the elements, both in the manipulation of its phonetic form and at a phonological/functional level, i.e. how far it can be consciously used to infer and produce meanings in situations where other language factors are controlled. This initial sample has provided a guide to the ability that can be expected from normal speakers, and a contribution is made to the study of prosody in the form of indications about differences of prosodic exponency in various communicative functions. The test has furthermore been used to assess the prosodic ability of three speakers with aphasia. Two of the speakers have non-fluent aphasia, the third is fluent. Their results are compared with those of unimpaired participants. Conclusions are reached about the value of aspects of prosody testing, and about specific aspects of prosodic impairment and the ways in which they could affect the communication skills of speakers with aphasia.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Investigating linguistic prosodic ability in adult speakers of English
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Prosodic ability
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105104
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