Effect of omitted cues on alphabet supplemented speech intelligibility

Elizabeth K. Hanson, David R. Beukelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Speakers with moderate to severe dysarthria may increase their speech intelligibility by pointing to the first letter of each word as they say it. This strategy, known as alphabet supplementation, has been shown to increases sentence level intelligibility by an average of 26% (Hanson, Yorkston, & Beukelman, 2004). Traditional alphabet supplementation research assumes complete and accurate alphabet cues for all spoken words. Partial cueing has not been investigated to date. This study omitted alphabet cues in a systematic way, based on word class. Two men with dysarthric speech provided speech samples with and without alphabet supplementation. Fifty judges watched and heard the productions, which were visually manipulated to omit cues for nouns, verbs, and functor words. The judges also transcribed 100% cue samples and habitual speech samples. Habitual speech intelligibility was compared to the four alphabet supplemented conditions, and the 100% supplementation condition was compared to the three omitted cues conditions. Results showed statistically significant differences between the habitual speech condition and all but one of the alphabet supplementation conditions. No statistically significant differences occurred between the 100% alphabet supplementation condition and any of the manipulated conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-196
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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