The purpose of this study was to examine how varying pause lengths in speech of people with aphasia (PWA) influences listeners' perceptions. The study specifically assesses listeners' perceptions of communicative effectiveness and speaker likability. Speech samples from six people with nonfluent or fluent aphasia were obtained from a previous study conducted by Harmon (2018). The speech samples were modified to create four sets of stimuli, including the original recordings, normalized within utterance pauses, normalized between utterance pauses, and normalized for both within and between utterance pauses. Forty listeners rated each of the speech samples based on the perceived communicative effectiveness and likability using a visual analog scale. Communicative effectiveness and likability ratings were significantly higher for the normalized within utterance and normalized within and between utterance conditions when compared to the baseline and normalized between utterance conditions. Both male and female listeners rated the recordings from nonfluent aphasic speakers lower than recording from speakers with fluent aphasia. Results of the study provide preliminary evidence that pauses in speech of PWA influence listeners' perceptions of communicative effectiveness and likability of the speaker. It is hoped that additional research regarding pause in speech of PWA will be conducted to determine if targeting pause in speech-language therapy will improve the communication of PWA.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wright, Emily, "The Influence of Pause on Listeners' Perceptions in Speech of People With Aphasia" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9600.
aphasia, pause, listener perceptions