According to a dual-process theory of the role of hearing in speech production, hearing helps maintain an internal model used by the speech control mechanism to achieve phonemic goals. It also monitors the acoustic environment and guides relatively rapid adjustments in postural parameters, such as those underlying average speech sound level and rate, in order to achieve suprasegmental goals that are a compromise between intelligibility and economy of effort. In order to obtain evidence bearing on this theory, acoustic and aerodynamic measures were collected from seven adventitiously deaf speakers who received cochlear implants, three speakers who had severe reduction in hearing following surgery for Neurofibromatosis-2, and one hard of hearing speaker. These speakers made recordings of the Rainbow Passage and an English vowel inventory before and after intervention. All but one of the postlingually deaf speakers who received prosthetic hearing reduced speech sound level, SPL. Three of these significantly increased a measure of inferred glottal aperture, H1–H2, and their session means for these two parameters were inversely correlated longitudinally. All but one of the speakers terminated respiratory limbs closer to functional residual capacity (FRC) once prosthetic hearing was supplied. Finally, the implant users' average values of air expenditure moved toward normative values with prosthetic hearing. These results are attributed to the mediation of changes in respiratory and glottal posture aimed at reducing speech sound level and economizing effort.


The following article appeared in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 104, Issue 5, pp. 3059-3069 (November 1998) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.423900


cochlear implant users, neurofibromatosis-2 (NF-2)

Subject Categories

Intelligibility of speech, Speech, Hearing, Cochlear implants, Neurofibromatosis


Speech and Hearing Science


Acoustical Society of America

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©1998 Acoustical Society of America

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