Listeners' glosses of children's intended words provided data for two studies of the potential influence of selected contextual and linguistic variables on word intelligibility. Several regularities associated with the occurrence of unintelligible words were identified. In Study I, intelligibility outcomes were associated with utterance length and fluency, word position, intelligibility of adjacent words, phonological complexity, and grammatical form. In Study II, intelligibility outcomes were associated with phonological complexity, syllabic structure, and grammatical form. Discussion considers the implications of these and other regularities associated with the occurrence of unintelligible words for a comprehensive perspective on the utterance-to-utterance intelligibility deficits of children with phonological disorders of unknown origin.
KEY WORDS: intelligibility, developmental phonological disorders, continuous speech-language samples, context variables, linguistic variables
Submitted on September 25, 1991
Accepted on April 15, 1992