Lingual movements before and after an experimental palatal "fistula"

By V.C. Marino, G.M. Schulz, W.N. Williams, P.W Wharton, and J.C.R. Dutka, and M Paulk


To date, little quantitative information is available on the impact of fistula(s) on tongue movement during speech production.  Additionally, the impact that a sustained perturbation has on tongue movement is still unknown.  This single-subject study investigated long –term effect that an experimental opening has on subject’s tongue movement.  The subject produced ten trials of single CVC words with initial and final voiceless plosives embedded in a carrier phrase.  Tongue tip and tongue medium movement measures were obtained using the Articulograph AG100 when (1) the replicate obturator was occluded; (2) immediately after a 20 mm2 opening was drilled in the anterior portion of the obturator, and (3) five days after wearing the replicate obturator with the anterior “fistula”. The results of this study suggested that experiencing an experimental opening for five days had a significant effect on tongue movement when compared to tongue movements observed immediately after creating the opening.  Tongue movement after five days was not different than tongue movement observed during the control condition, indicating that the subject may have “normalized” his articulatory production to that previously observed in the control condition.