First Advisor

Mary Gordon-Brannan

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Intelligibility of speech -- Testing, Articulation disorders in children -- Diagnosis



Physical Description

1 online resource (59 pages)


When the fundamental means of communications is speech, the main component for successful communication is intelligibility. The speech of children with disordered phonologies is often unintelligible; therefore, accurate and reliable methods of measuring intelligibility are essential when determining eligibility, and in selecting and providing appropriate treatment.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the percentage estimation method and the orthographic transcription method when measuring speech intelligibility by preprofessional listeners. For this study, the standard measurement of intelligibility was defined as the percentage of words understood in a continuous speech sample derived from orthographic transcription of the sample.

Twelve speech samples were chosen from the original group of speakers in the Gordon-Brannan (1993) study according to varying levels of intelligibility. Three speakers were chosen from each of the four levels of phonological proficiency: adult-like, mild, moderate, and severe. Four graduate students in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Program at Portland State University served as preprofessional listeners. These listeners rated the children's percentage of intelligibility from continuous speech samples using listener estimation and orthographic transcription methods.

The two methods of measuring speech intelligibility investigated in this study were found to be strongly correlated overall among the 4 listeners, although the ranges among the listeners scores were wide for some of the speakers. Even though the correlation was strong between the two methods, there were substantial differences between the actual percentages derived from orthographic transcription and those derived from estimation for some listeners.


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