Tongue-Palate contact pressure, oral air pressure, and acoustics of clear speech

Jeff Searl, Paul M. Evitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: The authors compared articulatory contact pressure (ACP), oral air pressure (Po), and speech acoustics for conversational versus clear speech. They also assessed the relationship of these measures to listener perception. Method: Twelve adults with normal speech produced monosyllables in a phrase using conversational and clear speech. Target phonemes were /t, d, s, z, l, n/. ACP was measured at a point of articulatory contact; Po was sensed by a catheter open in the posterior oral cavity. Results: ACP was increased to a greater extent in clear speech for /t, d, z/. Po was increased to a greater extent for /t, d/. Acoustic changes also occurred in terms of segment durations, speaking rate, and CV dB ratio. Regression analysis indicated that segment duration was the strongest predictor of listener ratings of speech clarity, followed by an index of articulatory effort and speaking rate. Conclusion: Articulatory effort, as indexed by ACP, Po, and CV dB ratio, was increased to varying degrees depending on the consonant. Greatest changes occurred for /t, d/. Durational measures at both the segment and the phrase level were also important for predicting listener ratings of speech clarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-839
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic
  • Articulation
  • Clear speech
  • Contact pressure
  • Oral pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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