Lingual Kinematic Strategies Used to Increase Speech Rate:
Comparison between Younger and Older Adults

J Goozée, B Murdoch, L LaPointe, D Stephenson, R Darnell


This study aimed to examine the lingual kinematic strategies used by younger and older adults to increase rate of speech. It was hypothesised that the strategies used by the older adults would differ from the young adults either as a direct result of, or in response to a need to compensate for, age-related changes in the tongue. Electromagnetic articulography was used to examine the tongue movements of eight young (mean age 26.7 years) and eight older (mean age 67.1 years) females during repetitions of /ta/ and /ka/ at a controlled moderate rate and then as fast as possible. The older adult group increased their syllable rates and decreased their tongue movement durations to the same degree as the younger adults; however, the kinematic strategies used appeared to differ between the two groups. The younger adults decreased lingual distance to a greater extent than the older adults and decreased velocity from the moderate to the fast rate condition, while the older adults increased velocity. The results will be interpreted in relation to potential age-related physiological, neuromotor, and/or sensory changes, and the possible implementation of compensatory techniques by the older adults to maintain articulatory stability and speech output accuracy.