Dyslexia is associated with problems in phonological processing as well as reduced speed of articulation, two groups of young adults with corresponding social class and IQ would be required to articulate as quickly and precisely as possible single speech gestures or a sequence. The analysis would be of the time taken to articulate the gesture and whether dyslexics were found to be slower.
Dyslexia has been connected with a variety of mild language problems, including discrimination of speech sounds which was reported by Liberman in 1980 and Stackhouse & Wells in 1997, Snowling & Hume in 1994 found problems with output phonology.
In other studies of students with dyslexia, Downey & Hill in 2000 found that the underlying deficit in reading difficulties in children is in their phonological processing, that is, the process whereby readers attach letters to sounds &
analyse sound segments. In a recent study by Fawcett, it was also found that children show a reduction in their speed of articulation.
Normal adults have little or no consciousness of the many skills fundamental to speech, such as fine motor control. Pennington in 1990 & Apthorp in 1995 suggested that these language processing deficits could continue into adulthood. Even though adults have often, by then become skilled at compensating for these difficulties. Continuing deficits can carry on interfering with higher level language tasks, especially those necessary for success at the college level of education, as noted by Catts in 1989 who looked at fast repetition of words.
Narrowing things down a little, the area I particularly would like to look at is articulation & whether having dyslexia affects the speed of articulation. Griffiths & Frith in 2002 found that adults with dyslexia, even those who were literate showed impaired articulatory awareness- shown in difficulties distinguishing the correct organization of the lips, tongue and teeth to create exact phonemes.
As I said earlier performance does improve with age, seeming
competence in speech sound production possibly disguising difficulties. I felt it would be useful to compare speed of articulation of single speech sounds and a sequence, between normal young adults and those with dyslexia.
Outline for future study.
My hypothesis would be that participants with dyslexia would have a slower speed of articulation than the group without. The participants should be matched for social class and IQs at least average. The experiment would investigate the speed of plain articulatory gesture manufacture, removing errors so that deficits in the rate of interpretation can be interpreted, The task would consist of, single gesture production (p, t, k) (b, d, g) and a compound gesture production, recorded on computer to enable analysis of the time taken to articulate the gesture.
The procedure would be to measure the articulation rate by asking the participants to say a given stimulus as rapidly and efficiently as possible. So the dependent variable would be the time taken to articulate a single speech gesture. The possibilities for future research could be the adapted from exercise based treatment for children with dyslexia carried out by Reynolds & Nicholson in their recent study, (2002) whose participants showed a significant improvement in various literacy tasks.
Apthorp, H. (1995) Phonetic Coding & reading in College Students with & without Learning Disabilities, Journal of Learning disorders, 28, 342-352
Catts, H. (1989) Speech Production Deficits & Reading disabilities, Journal of Speech & Hearing Disorders, 54, 422-428
Fawcett, A. J. (2002) Evaluating therapies excluding traditional reading & Phonological based therapies.
Griffiths, S. & Frith, U. (2002) Evidence for an articulatory deficit in adult dyslexics. Dyslexia, 8, 14-21.
Liberman, A. M. & Mattingley, I. G. (1985).The motor theory of speech perception revised. Cognition, 21, 1-36
Pennington, et al, (1990) Phonological Processing Skills in Adult Dyslexics, Child Development, 61, 753-778
Reynolds, D. & Nicholson, R. I. (2002) College Students with Dyslexia: Persistent Linguistic deficits & Foreign Language Learning, Dyslexia, 9, 48-71
Snowling, M. J. & Hume, C. (1994) The Development of Phonological Skills. Transactions of the Royal Society. B, 346, 21-28
Stackhouse, J. & Wells, B. (1997) Children’s Speech ; Literacy Difficulties. A Psycholinguistic Framework. Whurr; London