Speech and Hearing Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis study was the design and fabrication of a prototype linguapalatometer as a basic research tool in speech physiology. The system was designed to have maximum flexibility and to be capable of measuring linguapalatal articulation during continuous speech with high temporal and spatial resolution. Specifically, the study was an attempt to:

1. Design and fabricate a prototype artificial palate and electrode array of optimum thickness, complexity and materials of construction for accurate observation of linguapalatal speech physiology.

2. Design and fabricate a prototype amplifier and signal conditioner unit that permits discrimination between linguapalatal contact and physiologic “noise” such as saliva bridging, etc. This should permit high electrode density.

3. Design and fabricate a prototype logic control system that will sequentially read and display the linguapalatal articulation data from each electrode on the artificial palate on an oscilloscope display.

4. Explore and discuss digital techniques that may be utilized with the linguapalatometer to realize the maximum flexibility and potential of the system for measurement of speech physiology.

The prototype model of the linguapalatometer demonstrated that such a system was not only feasible but that good results could be expected once the system is fabricated. The linguapalatometer appeared to overcome all previous limitations encountered in dynamic palatography such as saliva bridging among the electrodes and poor spatial resolution due to insufficient electrode coverage of the palatal area. Artificial palates were fabricated from commercially available sheet resin materials by adapting the material to the subject's maxillary cast. A second plastic adaptation was used to sandwich electrode lead wires into position. Digital techniques were pointed out that would permit maximum flexibility of the linguapalatometer such as computer interfacing and use of a read only memory. Future research suggestions were discussed such as physiologic classification of phonemes, determining the effect of palatal vault configurations on speech, etc. The linguapalatometer's application as a tool in articulation therapy was also discussed.

Degree Name

Speech-Language Pathology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Speech and Hearing Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Samuel Glen Fletcher

Second Committee Member

Lloyd Edmond Lamb

Third Committee Member

Monica Novitski



Document Type