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Speech Defects Essay

Introduction

Speech Defects are any imperfect verbal utterances that occur even when the message being expressed has been properly formulated in the individual’s mind and are linguistically intact. They represent the most prevalent type of communication disorder found in humans. They may result from (1) maldevelopment or damage within the nervous system; (2) maldevelopment or damage in the peripheral structures producing speech; (3) faulty learning; and (4) functional disruptions arising from other causes.

Lisping is one of the most common types of articulatory defects caused by faulty learning and, in some cases, can be related to concomitant disorders in the hearing mechanism, such as impairment in auditory acuity or auditory discrimination. Lisping is the incorrect pronunciation of certain sounds, chiefly /s/ and /z/, in the ordinary speech (Encyclopedia Americana). The most common type of error involves the substitution of a surd (voiceless) th sound for s and a sonant (voiced) th for z. Similar sound substitutions may occur for sh and ch. All of these articulatory substitutions are often classified as lisps.

In some cases the tongue protrudes through the aperture of the teeth, producing what is called an interdental lisp or frontal lisp. In other instances the tongue tip does not protrude between the teeth but may maintain a firm contact against the upper teeth or the frontal part of the hard palate, while the air stream is forced around one or both sides of the upthrust tongue, producing a lateral lisp. Finally, there is the palatal lisp which is not found in typical speech development. Here, the mid-section of the tongue comes in contact with the soft palate, quite far back. Nevertheless, lisping as an isolated speech characteristic does not usually reduce the person’s intelligibility unduly. Most people can easily understand what the person with a lisp is saying.

This study is being proposed to determine the different factors that contribute to the acquisition of the defect particularly frontal lisp, its indications, practices that may cause it, and its possible solutions. Evaluation based on the reactions of the respondent shall be made to address the above mentioned queries. With the foregoing impressions of the writer, this study hopes to enlighten people about frontal lisp and the actions that should be taken about it.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The respondent appears to have a difficulty in pronouncing the /s/ and /z/ sounds. The error involves the substitution of the mentioned sounds with either a voiced or voiceless /th/. This resembles the defects caused by frontal lisp. The misplacement of the tongue during articulation causes these unclear speech sounds.

This study intends to answer the following questions:
1. What could be the root cause of the respondent’s speech impediment? 2. Is there a relation between the difficulty of the respondent and her family background? 3. What steps should be taken to lessen or even eliminate the defect? 3. Is the respondent’s case a permanent one?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The respondent is expected to gain more knowledge and understanding about the speech disorder during the whole process. Should she exhibit improvement in her speech, we can expect this to boost her morale.

With the respondent gaining more confidence in her speech and ease in expressing herself, she is sure to reach greater heights and farther horizons in terms of her social and educational well-being.

People with similar defects may, likewise, practice this kind of therapy to experience improvement in and awareness of their speech capabilities. Should an advanced and wider study and practice of this research be created, more people with similar speech defect can be helped. Most especially those people who could not afford the services of speech pathologists and audiologists. This will surely produce more competent speakers in the country.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Aperture – (Noun) the opening between the upper and lower frontal teeth Auditory acuity – (Noun) keenness of the auditory skills Audiologist – (Noun) a healthcare professional who performs hearing tests Concomitant disorder – (Noun) a disorder that occurs in connection with another defect Intelligibility – (Noun) the quality of language that is comprehensible Interdental – (Adjective) between the teeth

Lateral – (Adjective) situated at or extending to the side Palate – (Noun) the upper surface of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities Protrude – (Verb) to extend out or project in space; bulge outward Speech impediment – (Noun) interference or delay in the progress or development of speech Speech pathologist – (Noun) a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and therapy for patients with speech defects Sonant – (Noun) a speech sound accompanied by sound from the vocal chords; (Adjective) produced with vibration of the vocal chords Surd – (Noun) a consonant produced without sound from the vocal chords


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