Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Stefan A. Frisch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Catherine L. Rogers, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jean C. Krause, Ph.D.


ultrasound, articulatory gestures, slips of the tongue, consonants, tongue twister


Speech errors have been utilized since the beginning of the last century to learn more about how speech is produced, both physically and cognitively. Collection of speech errors has progressed from writing down naturally occurring speech errors to recording experimentally induced speech errors to current studies, which are using instrumentation to record acoustic and kinematic information about experimentally induced speech errors. One type of instrumentation being used in articulatory research is ultrasound. Ultrasound is gaining popularity for use by those interested in learning how speech is physically produced because of its portability and noninvasiveness. Ultrasound of the tongue during speech provides visual access to the articulatory movements of the tongue. This study utilizes ultrasound recordings of speech errors in two ways. In Experiment 1, ultrasound images of participants’ tongues were recorded while they read tongue twisters designed to elicit speech errors. The tongue twisters were CVC words or CV syllables with onset velar or alveolar stops. Within the ultrasound video, the angle of the tongue blade and elevation of the tongue dorsum were measured during the onset stop closure. Measurements of tongue twisters were compared to baseline production vii measures to examine the ways in which erroneous productions differ from normal productions. It was found that an error could create normal productions of the other category (i.e., categorical errors) or abnormal productions that fell outside the normal categories (i.e., gradient errors). Consonant productions extracted from ultrasound video were presented auditory only to naïve listeners in Experiment 2. Listeners heard a variety of normal, gradient error, and categorical error productions. Participants were asked to judge what they heard as the onset sound. Overwhelmingly, the participants heard normal productions as well as gradient error productions as the target sound. Categorical error productions were judged to be different from the target (e.g., velar for alveolar). The only effect of erroneous production appears to be a slight increase in reaction time to respond with a choice of percept, which may suggest that error tokens are abnormal in some way not measured in this study.