Using ultrasound to quantify tongue shape and movement characteristics
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Zharkova, N. (2013) Using ultrasound to quantify tongue shape and movement characteristics, The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal., vol. 50, , pp. 76-81,
Objective: Previous experimental studies have demonstrated abnormal lingual articulatory patterns characterising cleft palate speech. Most articulatory information to date has been collected using electropalatography, which records the location and size of tongue-palate contact, but not the tongue shape. The latter type of data can be provided by ultrasound. The present paper aims to describe ultrasound tongue imaging as a potential tool for quantitative analysis of tongue function in speakers with cleft palate. A description of the ultrasound technique as applied to analysing tongue movements is given, followed by the requirements for quantitative analysis. Several measures are described, and example calculations are provided. Measures: Two measures are aimed to quantify overuse of tongue dorsum in cleft palate articulations. Crucially for potential clinical applications, these measures do not require head to transducer stabilisation, because both are based on a single tongue curve. The other three measures compare sets of tongue curves, with the aim to quantify the dynamics of tongue displacement, token-to-token variability in tongue position, and the extent of separation between tongue curves for different speech sounds. Conclusions: All measures can be used to compare tongue function in speakers with cleft palate before and after therapy, as well as to assess their performance against that in typical speakers, and to help in selecting more effective treatments.