First Advisor

Robert H. English

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech: Emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology






Speech, Tongue



Physical Description

1 online resource (55 p.)


The present investigation was undertaken to collect normative data on a teenage population and a young adult population in order to assess tongue sensitivity regarding the identification of various geometric shapes. The research, was conducted to answer the following questions:

1. Is there a significant difference between a teenage group and a young adult group regarding lingual discrimination?

2. What is the range and variability between and within the two groups?

3. Is the teenage group significantly better than the elementary school age group previously tested by Weiss (1973b)?

There were 50 normal-speaking subjects in the teenage group ranging in age from 13 through 15 years, and 50 normal-speaking young adults ranging in age from 22 through 26 years. The subjects in the teenage group were volunteers from the public schools of Portland, Oregon, and Camas, Washington. The adults were from the same areas and were either employed in responsible jobs or were enrolled in graduate study programs. All subjects were administered a passive and an active test of lingual discrimination. Each test included 24 identifications of plexiglass geometric shapes. Selection of the shapes were made by the subject pointing to his choice on a response sheet, after the geometric shape had been removed from his mouth. The results were analyzed statistically to assess mean, range, and variability within and between the groups. A t-test was used to determine a significance of differences.

The questions posed by this investigator were answered in the following manner:

  1. There was no significant difference in performance between a teenage group and a young adult group regarding lingual discrimination. This would appear to contraindicate the belief by some authorities (McDonald and Aungst, 1967) that lingual discrimination abilities continue to improve until the mid-teens.
    1. In discussing the results between the groups, the means of the active scores for both age groups were significantly greater than those achieved on the passive test. The variability on the passive test was significantly greater (p > .05) for the teenage group than for the adult group. The adults tended to be more variable on the active test. This would tend to indicate that both age groups were receiving more discriminative cues on the active test than on the passive test.

2. In comparing the teenage group to a group of 8 year-oIds previously tested by Weiss (1973b), it was found that the older group performed significantly better. These findings held true for both passive and active tests. This finding is not surprising in that one would expect maturation in this discrimination task over time as a result of human development.


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