Nasometric Assessment of Bilingual Spanish/English Speakers
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of native language on speech tasks requiring velopharyngeal closure, particularly the standardized Nasometric assessment of voice resonance. Comparison of ten native-English-speaking adults (N) and ten bilingual Spanish/English speakers (B) indicates that native language did not significantly influence standardized assessment scores, although the effect of gender remains ambiguous, with female participants generally producing higher nasalance scores. Within-subject comparison of the bilingual speakers' individual scores on the English and Spanish stimuli indicated significant differences in the scores obtained on the nasal sentence sets and the oro-nasal paragraphs. Highly fluent bilingual English/Spanish speakers, like the participants of this study, can be accurately assessed using the standardized English nasometry passages. Nevertheless, future researchers and diagnosticians investigating velopharyngeal movement and voice resonance should be aware of the possible gender effect and its potential interaction with native language.