Speech and articulation rates of older New Zealand adults.
Type of content
This study gathered normative speech and articulation rate data from a group of 112 New Zealand English speakers aged 64 to 91 years. It examined whether speech and articulation rates differ across context (conversation and reading), and whether they are influenced by speaker sex, age, years of education and lexical frequency. Results indicated that articulation rates in read speech were slower than in conversational speech. With regard to age and sex, results indicated that speech rate in oral reading declined with age, and there was a trend for females to speak faster than males in some situations. Neither years of education nor lexical frequency were significant predictors of speaking rates. To date there has been little information regarding normative speech and articulation rate data of older New Zealand English adults, and this study offers a guide for clinicians when diagnosing and planning treatment for clients in this age group.