Speech Prosody in Atypical Populations: Assessment and Remediation


Vesna Stojanovik and Jane Setter, University of Reading (Editors)

This book is based on recent findings and will report current original research in the field of speech prosody in atypical populations. With contributions from experts working on the prosody of a specific client group.


You can purchase this book at the price of £29.99 + postage. You can also purchase individual chapters (as a pdf) at the price of £10.00

This book is based on recent findings and will report current original research in the field of speech prosody in atypical populations. With contributions from experts working on the prosody of a specific client group, the book will cover both paediatric and adult groups within a single volume, and will promote this often neglected area of clinical assessment and management.

As well as being a key reference for those who are conducting research in this area, the book will be an invaluable tool for speech and language therapists who currently rarely assess prosody because of the lack of information relevant to them.

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Vesna Stojanovik and Jane Setter, both of the University of Reading, UK:

This introduction draws out the issues in assessment and remediation of prosodic difficulties in developmental and acquired disorders. In addition it provides a short summary of the book, directing the reader’s attention to how each section fits together.

Published 15th March 2011

ISBN 978-1-907826-00-9
Book Price: £29.99, paperback, [+postage and packing*]

Each individual chapter can be purchased for the price of £10.00. The chapter will be sent by email in pdf format within 48 hours of the order being received.

Part I: Developmental Disorders

Chapter 1. Assessment of Prosodic Ability in Atypical Populations with Special Reference to High-functioning Autism

Sue Peppé Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK:

This chapter describes a method of assessing receptive and expressive prosodic ability in verbal children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), and intervention strategies devised as a result of studies that have used the method with a large population of such children.

Chapter 2. Prosody in Two Genetic Disorders: Williams and Down’s Syndrome

Jane Setter and Vesna Stojanovik, University of Reading, UK:

This chapter looks at ways of assessing prosody in children with Williams syndrome. It considers different assessment procedures: Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems – Child version (PEPS-C) battery (Peppé et al. 2003), the measurement of pitch range, and use of perceptual data. The authors present results and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various procedures.

Chapter 3. The Role of Interactional Prosody in Language Testing Activities in Swedish

Christina Samuelsson, Charlotta Plejert, University of Linköping, Ulrika Nettlebladt, Lund University, and Jan Anward, Linkoping University, Sweden:

The focus in this chapter is on a comparison of the prosodic structure of two types of questions occurring in a language testing. The results show that the prosody of the children with LI is influenced by the prosody of the therapist, even when the children are diagnosed with prosodic problems. It is also established that the prosody of the specific test questions is carried out with less varied pitch than question-answer sequences of a personal nature. The difference in prosody between the different parts of the testing activity points to the importance of assessing prosody in different activities for children with LI.

Chapter 4. The Management of Turn Taking by a Child with High-functioning Autism: Re-examining Atypical Prosody

Deborah Kelly, Independent SLT, and Suzanne Beeke, Head of Research, Department of Language and Communication, UCL, London, UK:

Individuals with autism are often described as having disordered prosody and this is thought to contribute to social exclusion. This chapter describes a study by the first author that used Conversation Analysis (CA) to investigate prosody in the everyday interactions of a child, Sammy (a pseudonym), who has high functioning autism. The analysis examines turn taking, given that CA has demonstrated the importance of prosody as a resource to signal the end of a speaker’s turn at talk, and thus mark a legitimate place for speaker transition. This raises discussion about the resulting issues for treatment of prosodic disorder in autism, such as whether the delivery of intervention should focus on direct work with the child, indirect work with the conversational partner, or both and whether CA offers a framework for such intervention.

Part II: Acquired Disorders

Chapter 5. Suprasegmental Aspects of Foreign Accent Syndrome

Jo Verhoeven, City University London, and Peter Mariën, ZNA AZ Middleheim Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium:

This chapter places Foreign Accent Syndrome in its historical context as a prosodic disturbance. In the first instance, a comprehensive literature survey is given of the prosodic characteristics of FAS on the basis of 65 patients in the literature. Secondly, it is discussed how these prosodic characteristics can/should be quantified with respect to speech rate, speech rhythm, the pitch framework and intonation. Finally, this quantitative framework is applied to a speech sample of a Belgian Dutch FAS patient.

Chapter 6. Note on Voice Quality Measurement in Atypical Prosody Description and Therapy

Evelyn Abberton and Adrian Fourcin, both of the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, UCL, London, UK:

This chapter shows how physical measurement can be matched to perception and provide patterns of pitch, loudness and vocal fold contact (phonation type) in connected speech. These patterns can supplement, and offer insights into, qualitative linguistic descriptions of prosody. It shows how these measures and real time displays, directly related to speech production and perception, can be used for biofeedback in therapy and teaching, and contribute to evidence-based practice. The analyses and displays are produced using software running on a laptop. Both microphone and Laryngograph® (EGG) signals are used, as well as a nasal sensor.

Chapter 7. Speech Prosody in Dysarthria

Gwen Van Nuffelen, Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium:

This chapter discusses how to assess and remediate atypical prosody in dysarthria. It shows how different types of dysarthria are characterized with different disturbances to prosodic cues, how listeners might find ways to cope with the speech of dysarthric speakers and what clinicians can do in order to help dysarthric speakers. There is a comprehensive review of the literature.

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