Browsing by Subject "logopedia"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-11 of 11
  • Savolainen, Irina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    People who can not speak may use different communication aids, such as communication books (CB) and speech-generating devices (SGD), for replacing their lack of speech. The communication aids effect non-speaking and speaking participants’ practices in conversations. Within the framework of conversation analysis (CA), this dissertation follows four aided communicators between the ages of 7 and 18 years old and examines their conversations with their mothers, peers, and speech-language therapists. The focus is on the participants’ co-construction practices and the social action of turns produced by CBs or SGDs. The database consists of 21 video-recorded conversations, in which the participants engage in a typical interactive situation without a specific goal and discuss their topics of choice. The present study aims to extend our understanding of the co-construction process in aided conversations. As logopedic research (speech-language therapy), the aim is also to offer implications that aided communicators and their partners could utilize to facilitate their conversations. Each of the three original studies of this dissertation focus on the progress of aided conversations during the participants’ co-construction process. The research phenomena are turn-transitions, participants’ multimodal practices, and several interactional resources for co-construction of the social actions. The data proved to be a unique possibility to study mostly fluent aided conversations, in which aided communicators were active participants. It offers a view of the essential features of successful aided conversations, such as slowness, the co-constructed nature, and the role of the communication aid. The current study also shows how several aided communicators’ affect the flow of conversations by using many means similar to their speaking partners. The synthesis of the three studies’ results, as well as those of previous studies, offer an overall view of the co-construction process of aided turns. The co-construction model and the different structures of multimodal turns help us to see how aided and spoken conversations differ. The critical points are the transitions between turns and symbols and participants’ practices in coping with insufficient linguistic and prosodic resources of aided turns. The results illuminate participants’ multimodal and synchronized actions during transitions and their practices in utilizing several interactional resources in the co-construction of social actions. The present study also demonstrates how the concept of aided conversation is a general term that can refer many kinds of interaction. The amount of co-operation that aided conversations demand depends on, for example, the communication aid and the form of utterance. Aided conversations are often (but not always) slower than spoken conversations. The long silent moments, however, do not mean that conversations are not proceeding, or participants consider them to be a challenge. The results of the current study are useful for video-assisted guidance in speech-language therapy, during which aided communicators and their partners observe and develop their conversational practices. It offers a list of questions that are useful for video guiding. The large scope of the present study helps to point toward gaps in the present knowledge of aided conversations and give ideas for future research.
  • Lonka, Eila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    ABSTRACT Individuals with profound deafness have damages in the inner and outer hair cells in the cochlea. For this reason they make only little use of frequency information and thus have minimal capacities to perceive speech sound cues. Accordingly, speech perception without augmentative means is impossible for them. Profoundly deaf children have been deprived of sound from very early stages of their lives, which inevitably has an effect on linguistic development. Cochlear implants (CIs) have proved their advantage in compensating auditory deficiency both in adults and children with profound hearing loss. In Helsinki University Hospital cochlear implantations started in the early 1980s for 10 Finnish adults with profound deafness. Since that time, due to the fast development of speech processing strategies introduced to CIs, high frequencies and temporal features important to the discrimination of consonantal cues and understanding continuous speech are now often available. The up-to-date worldwide estimation of adults using CIs is 200 000, and the respective number of children is 80 000. In Finland the estimated number of children with CIs is approximately 300, and 500 adults, respectively. In Studies I and II we followed the development of MMN responses to vowel and frequency stimuli in postlingually deafened adults. Plasticity of auditory pitch discrimination driven by cochlear implant (CI) use during a 2.5-year follow-up was indicated both by an enhancement of the amplitude of mismatch negativity (MMN) event-related brain potential (ERP) to vowel contrasts as well as to pure tone frequency changes. The MMN was observed in all patients after 2.5 years of CI use. It was first seen for the larger vowel difference /e/-/o/ and later for the smaller one /e/-/ø/. A significant enhancement was observed for the MMN elicited by 3200 Hz deviant tones among 4000 Hz standards. Instead, no observable mean amplitude MMNs were seen in duration stimuli. The MMN results were compared to audiometric speech recognition scores (SRSs) which improved over time. Participants with the highest SRSs had the highest MMN amplitudes. Studies III (n = 92) and IV (n = 164) report auditory and spoken language development as well as educational settings for Finnish children with cochlear implants. The results of the 92 children show that after approximately three years of hearing experience (hearing age = HA) at the mean chronological age of seven years, children are achieving developed forms of spoken language. The favourable age of two to three for early cochlear implantation in respect to good spoken language skills development was observed in 55 children. For Study IV, two questionnaires were employed; the first, concerning day care and educational placement, was filled in by professionals for rehabilitation guidance, and the second, evaluating language development (categories of auditory performance, spoken language skills, and main modes of communication), by speech and language therapists in audiology departments. Categories of auditory performance and spoken language levels were observed to grow in relation to age at cochlear implantation (p less than 0.001) as well as in relation to proportional hearing age (p less than 0.001). The composite scores for language development moved to more diversified ones in relation to increasing age at cochlear implantation and proportional hearing age (p less than 0.001). Furthermore, the results also indicated that nearly half of the children were enrolled in normal kindergartens and 43% of school-aged children in mainstream schools. Children without additional disorders outperformed those with additional disorders. The results of Study IV indicate that the most favourable age for cochlear implantation could be about the age of two. Compared to other children, spoken language evaluation scores of those with additional disabilities were significantly lower; however, these children showed gradual improvements in their auditory perception and language scores. Taken together, the positive effects of cochlear implantation were observed in MMN responses in adults and in behavioral results for children with CIs.
  • Koski, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Staff members' communication strategies determine how individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) can more fully participate in their community. Such individuals often possess limited interaction skills and may never be able to use symbolic communication strategies. Since staff members are often the main communication partners for individuals with PMLD, achieving successful interaction situations requires that the staff members modify their interaction strategies to meet the different needs of the individuals. However, staff members often fail to do so. Thus, both observational studies and staff members themselves have concluded that communication skills are a professional competence requiring special training. Speech and language therapists (SLTs) working with individuals who have PMLD often provide their service via indirect therapy, which includes giving advice to staff members on how to improve the communication between them and their clients with PMLD. Yet despite such efforts, the staff members seldom change their communication habits. Thus, the aim of this thesis is to understand the process of indirect speech therapy. Specifically, which issues are important for staff members to learn during indirect therapy and which factors support staff members in maintaining the targeted skills. The theoretical background of this study is based on Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory. This theory states that the entire surrounding ecological system affects human development. The interaction between staff members and individuals with PMLD is therefore defined at the level of different sub-systems of Bronfenbrenner's theory. In the microsystem, the communicative abilities of staff members and individuals with PMLD affects how the interaction succeeds. In the exosystem, the interaction is regarded at the organisational level; the values and practices of the organisations have an effect on the interactions between the individuals and staff members. Finally, in the macrosystem, the social values and practices surrounding organisations (eg. laws, structures, philosophy) influence how the organisations provide care to their clients with PMLD and thus shape the interaction between the staff members and their clients. This study tries to target both the microsystem and the exosystem. Therefore, the research interests are in the interactions between staff members and clients with PMLD and in the organisation which provides the framework of these interactions. The materials of this thesis were collected from a communication partner training programme OIVA, developed by the Communication and Technology Centre of the Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. OIVA training was aimed at staff members working with individuals who have PMLD. The data were drawn from a group situation where SLTs analysed the participating staff members' interaction skills and from semi-structured interviews directed at the participating staff members. The SLTs' analyses of the staff members interaction patterns were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The staff members' interviews were analysed using qualitative methods. This study discovered that SLTs have contrasting views about which strategies staff members should use to achieve successful interactions with their clients. Even though there might not be one single way of being a successful interaction partner, this variable can be confusing to staff members if they work with several SLTs who offer different professional advice. The participating staff members stated that they had pondered several ethical questions relating to the individuals' sense of belonging in the community and concerning their right to be understood and to understand the communications presented to them. This resulted in staff members starting to ask individuals with PMLD for their opinions about daily life and to act according to the individuals wishes. Furthermore, the staff members in this study reported a need for more supervisory support to maintain the results of the training and to disseminate the new practices to non-trained staff. It seems that permanent change in staff members' behaviours comes depends on whether the organisation is willing to focus on the selected issues over a long period of time, perhaps for years, and whether the organisation has developed support systems to maintain the benefits of the training. This study emphasises that indirect speech and language therapy is a complex professional task. The SLTs providing this therapy need more knowledge about the interaction strategies and the thinking habits affecting the interaction between staff members and individuals with PMLD. They also require understanding of the organisational factors which promote the staff members opportunities to participate in indirect therapy and to use and maintain the newly learnt communication skills.
  • Isoaho, Pia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Specific language impairment (SLI) has an estimated prevalence between two and seven percent. SLI can effect production and/or understanding of speech. International longitudinal studies have shown SLI to be constant and to have strong influence on individuals life. At school age SLI is a risk factor for reading disabilities and broader learning disabilities. In Finland, the study of SLI is sparse. Thesis examines the development of linguistic abilities in SLI in school-aged children. It also focuses on the interplay between this development and reading and mathematical abilities. In the study, I observed the development of linguistic abilities of 43 children with a diagnosis of SLI at the age of 7 9 (1.-3. grades). Battery of tests was used yearly to map children s language abilities, reading and mathematical skills. A questionnaire was sent to parents, teachers and speech therapists for their views on children s language abilities, learning and future. SLI-children continued to develop their language abilities through the study-period, but didn't obtain the level of linguistic abilities of their peers in all respects. Specific difficulties persisted in word naming, difficulties with grammatical rules were also common. Despite the large individual variation in language abilities, diagnostic category F80.2 (problems in understanding) contained a larger number of weak results in language tests than diagnostic category F80.1 (problems in production). Technical reading ability declined during the study-period, at the same time reading comprehension abilities strengthened. At 3rd grade major part of children had weak skills in technical reading and ⅓ of them had weak skills in reading comprehension. Good abilities in reading were achieved by less than tenth of children. Mathematical skills developed through study-period, no specific mathematical difficulties emerged. Parents and teachers maintained a positive outlook on children s learning and future. SLI does not disappear in school-age. The clear risk for reading difficulties it carries needs to be taken into consideration in schooling SLI-children. Continued research is needed both in development of SLI and in factors contributing to the quality of life in school-aged SLI-children. In Finland, there's need for broader range of language tests for school-aged children both in research and speech therapy practice.
  • Salmenlinna, Inkeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This conversation analytic (CA) study examined other-initiation of repair in speech-language therapy sessions and in free play situations by 5–8-year-old children with mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, also known as Specific Language Impairment, SLI, or Developmental Language Disorder, DLD. Other-initiations of repair are practices by which the recipient of the talk points out that there is a problem in hearing, understanding or inferencing previous talk in conversation. Other-initiations are frequently used for maintaining intersubjective understanding between the interlocutors in everyday interaction. The data consist of children’s video-recorded language assessment sessions, speech-language therapy sessions and two kinds of non-institutional play sessions: parent-child and peer play. All the repair sequences in which the children used other-initiations of repair were identified, transcribed and analysed following CA conventions. The transcriptions focused on speech and relevant embodied actions and included the conversational context preceding and succeeding repair sequences. The database consists of 112 other-initiations of repair by the children. In the analysis, the children's other-initiations of repair were examined for 1) the repair-initiation practices, 2) problems that they dealt with and 3) conversational context in which they emerged. Qualitative analysis of the children’s other-initiations of repair indicated that the children used similar repair-initiation practices that have been earlier described in adults' everyday conversations. Children’s repair-initiations could be classified as 1) open repair initiations 2) restricted repair initiations (question words, combination of question word and partial repeats of the trouble turn, partial repeats of the trouble turn and clausal repair initiations) and 3) candidate understandings. Some of the restricted repair initiations and candidate understandings included both speech and embodied actions. Quantitative analysis of the children’s other-initiation practices revealed differences between the younger children with severe language disorder and the older children with mild language disorder. These differences were not explicable by the traditional developmental hypothesis of increasing specificity and complexity. Contrary to this hypothesis, the younger children with severe language disorder used mainly specific candidate understandings, and the older children with mild language disorder used more often non-specific open repair initiations than the younger children with severe language disorder. The most common problems (in 94 % of the repair sequences) that the children were dealing with by other-initiation of repair were: 1) problems of hearing or understanding the previous turn generally 2) problems of unclear or uncertain reference 3) problems of an unfamiliar word or uncertain understanding of a word or concept 4) problems of inferencing the meaning or the implications of the previous turn(s). There were also differences between the younger children with severe language disorder and the older children with mild language disorder in the problems they faced and dealt with. At the same time, connections were found between the use of other-initiation practices and the trouble they were used to resolve. The older children with mild language disorder often used open repair initiations and candidate understandings and dealt with troubles that are commonly resolved with these practices: with open repair-initiations they treated the previous turn as generally problematic and with candidate understandings they mostly dealt with problems of uncertain references and inferencing the meaning or the implications of the previous turn(s). Meanwhile, the younger children with severe language disorder mostly used candidate understandings to deal with an uncertain meaning of a word or concept. Overall, younger children with severe language disorder used less other-initiations of repair than older children with mild language disorder. However, there were also differences between speech-language therapy sessions and the play sessions: The younger children with severe language disorder used other-initiations of repair mainly in language assessment sessions and in speech and language therapy sessions, whereas the use of other-initiations of repair by the older children with mild language disorder was more evenly divided between the different sessions. Thus, the difference in the quantity of other-initiations of repair between the children varied between the sessions. This finding shows that the selected data and the nature of the interaction studied can have a significant effect on the results and how they can be generalized. This observation is meaningful particularly for the designing and interpretation of comparative studies of children’s other-initiations of repair. The analysis of the conversational context showed that the troubles dealt with and thereby the uses of practices of other-initiation of repair were distributed differently between the different activities in conversation. Problems of unfamiliar word or uncertain understanding of a word or concept were mostly dealt with in speech-language therapy during task sequences. Problems of inferencing the meaning or the implications of the previous turn(s) were mostly dealt with during planning actions. Open initiations of repair were mostly used during task sequences in speech-language therapy and during free play in play sessions. The sequential local contexts during different kinds of actions were also analyzed. The way that the local contexts took shape can explain, together with the difficulties that the children had in receptive language, some of the differences in the problems faced and dealt with, and the use of different kinds of repair practices. The older children with mild language disorder often used non-specific open repair initiations. At the same time there were also several features in the local conversational contexts, which for their part seem to explain the need to use open repair initiations. According to CA, every turn by every interlocutor shapes the local context of conversation. The children’s own actions in the interaction seemed to have affected the way that the local context took shape preceding the open repair initiations. The younger children with severe language disorder in turn often used specific candidate understandings. This can be partly explained by the fact that they had considerably more lexical difficulties and often faced problems of uncertain understanding of a word or concept during task sequences in speech-language therapy. At the same time, the task setting sequence and the task materials at hand seemed to support the use of candidate understandings. The findings of this study show that in conversation, besides the age and language skills, several contextual factors and the troubles faced and dealt with can significantly affect children’s use of other-initiations of repair. These findings support the view that children’s developmental phase and language skills can affect the way that interactional situations are mutually shaped, the problems that the children are facing and dealing with in conversation and thereby children’s other-initiations of repair. By expanding research from principally studying children’s other-initiation practices to cover also the systematic analysis of contextual matters and the problems that the children are facing and dealing with, we could reach a more comprehensive and reliable understanding of children’s other-initiations of repair and their skills in dealing with problems of hearing, understanding and inferencing speech in conversation. Key words: interaction, conversation, Developmental Language Disorder, Specific Language Impairment, receptive-expressive language disorder, other-initiation of repair, speech and language therapy, play interaction, intersubjectivity, problems of hearing, understanding and inferencing speech, conversation analysis
  • Jaakkonen, Essi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Aims: Aided communication has been noted to differ both developmentally and in practise from speaking in many ways, often being significantly more compact, more incomplete and slower. It has also been noted that a speaking listener’s active role as a co-constructive assistant easily reduces the independency of the aided narrative. There is very little research especially of aided narrative skills of children and ad-olescents using a communication book. There is also need for workable evaluation methods.The aim of this case study was to describe the narrative features of a 15-year old boy using a communication book in depicting silent videos, and the things that affected the independency of his aided communication. Methods: The 18 narration tasks with three different communication partners were transcribed. The transcription was then interpreted by tasks and by partners based on the material. The success of the nar-rations was compared to the video events with a four-step assessment scale, and the diversity of the nar-rations was described by counting and classifying the used symbols and sentence structures. The defi-ciency in expression was compared with the vocabulary in the book. The efficiency of the examinee’s symbol expression was also measured. The micro- and macrostructures and the fluency of the independ-ent narration was measured using the Narrative Assessment Profile. The partners’ influence on the narra-tion was observed at a general level. Results: The examined adolescent could quite often get to a result compatible with video events and flexibly use his often insufficient communication book vocabulary. In every task, he was able to stay on topic and correctly sequence the events he expressed. The results supported previous findings about the compact, slow and incomplete expression of the aided communication that is sometimes even disrupted by a partner’s active participation. Especially the amount of extra questions in a co-constructed aided narration supposedly affected its fluency, explicitness and effectiveness as well as the number of inde-pendent utterances. Conclusions: One cannot draw direct conclusions from a single case, and also the other abilities of the examinee had an effect on the performance for their part. Over the analysing process, it was noticed that the aided communicator actively adjust their planned narration on many levels to support their partners’ understanding. Thus, the inappropriate features in speaking may turn out to be appropriate, considering the situation, and vice versa. Narration adjusted to situation and vocabulary may thus, despite its ostensi-ble conciseness, embody the aided narrator’s strategic competence, where the communication partner has a crucial supporting role.
  • Stolt, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The aim was to analyse the growth and compositional development of the receptive and expressive lexicons between the ages 0,9 and 2;0 in the full-term (FT) and the very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) children who are acquiring Finnish. The associations between the expressive lexicon and grammar at 1;6 and 2;0 in the FT children were also studied. In addition, the language skills of the VLBW children at 2;0 were analysed, as well as the predictive value of early lexicon to the later language performance. Four groups took part in the studies: the longitudinal (N = 35) and cross-sectional (N = 146) samples of the FT children, and the longitudinal (N = 32) and cross-sectional (N = 66) samples of VLBW children. The data was gathered by applying of the structured parental rating method (the Finnish version of the Communicative Development Inventory), through analysis of the children´s spontaneous speech and by administering a a formal test (Reynell Developmental Language Scales). The FT children acquired their receptive lexicons earlier, at a faster rate and with larger individual variation than their expressive lexicons. The acquisition rate of the expressive lexicon increased from slow to faster in most children (91%). Highly parallel developmental paths for lexical semantic categories were detected in the receptive and expressive lexicons of the Finnish children when they were analysed in relation to the growth of the lexicon size, as described in the literature for children acquiring other languages. The emergence of grammar was closely associated with expressive lexical growth. The VLBW children acquired their receptive lexicons at a slower rate and had weaker language skills at 2;0 than the full-term children. The compositional development of both lexicons happened at a slower rate in the VLBW children when compared to the FT controls. However, when the compositional development was analysed in relation to the growth of lexicon size, this development occurred qualitatively in a nearly parallel manner in the VLBW children as in the FT children. Early receptive and expressive lexicon sizes were significantly associated with later language skills in both groups. The effect of the background variables (gender, length of the mother s basic education, birth weight) on the language development in the FT and the VLBW children differed. The results provide new information of early language acquisition by the Finnish FT and VLBW children. The results support the view that the early acquisition of the semantic lexical categories is related to lexicon growth. The current findings also propose that the early grammatical acquisition is closely related to the growth of expressive vocabulary size. The language development of the VLBW children should be followed in clinical work.
  • Saalasti, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Asperger Syndrome (AS) belongs to autism spectrum disorders where both verbal and non-verbal communication difficulties are at the core of the impairment. Social communication requires a complex use of affective, linguistic-cognitive and perceptual processes. In the four studies included in the current thesis, some of the linguistic and perceptual factors that are important for face-to-face communication were studied using behavioural methods. In all four studies the results obtained from individuals with AS were compared with typically developed age, gender and IQ matched controls. First, the language skills of school-aged children were characterized in detail with standardized tests that measured different aspects of receptive and expressive language (Study I). The children with AS were found to be worse than the controls in following complex verbal instructions. Next, the visual perception of facial expressions of emotion with varying degrees of visual detail was examined (Study II). Adults with AS were found to have impaired recognition of facial expressions on the basis of very low spatial frequencies which are important for processing global information. Following that, multisensory perception was investigated by looking at audiovisual speech perception (Studies III and IV). Adults with AS were found to perceive audiovisual speech qualitatively differently from typically developed adults, although both groups were equally accurate in recognizing auditory and visual speech presented alone. Finally, the effect of attention on audiovisual speech perception was studied by registering eye gaze behaviour (Study III) and by studying the voluntary control of visual attention (Study IV). The groups did not differ in eye gaze behaviour or in the voluntary control of visual attention. The results of the study series demonstrate that many factors underpinning face-to-face social communication are atypical in AS. In contrast with previous assumptions about intact language abilities, the current results show that children with AS have difficulties in understanding complex verbal instructions. Furthermore, the study makes clear that deviations in the perception of global features in faces expressing emotions as well as in the multisensory perception of speech are likely to harm face-to-face social communication.
  • Haatanen, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Aim. As the foreign-language speaking population grows in Finland, more and more children exposed to many languages are assessed by a speech therapist because their linguistic development causes a concern. Multilingualism is a growing phenomenon both internationally and in Finland. The assessment of a multilingual client poses a challenge to the speech therapist of how to assess a language that she or he is not familiar with. The aim of this study is to get information on how Finnish speech therapists assess their multilingual clients, especially their home languages. In addition, this study gathers information on how the speech therapists experienced the evaluation of a multilingual client. The purpose is to identify the types of assessment methods that Finnish speech therapists use to assess the linguistic skills of their multilingual clients and which assessment methods would be needed in their work. The profession of language analyst is presented to the speech therapists and they are also asked about their thoughts and opinions on the profession in question. Method. A survey was used as a method of this study. The survey was aimed for the speech therapists who were graduated and employed in Finland. The survey was sent to 1233 speech therapists by the e-mail list of the Finnish Association of Speech and Language therapists, and 132 speech therapists answered to it with a response rate of 10,7 %. In the questionnaire both closed and open questions were used, so the replies were analyzed in both quantitative and qualitative terms. In the quantitative analysis, the frequency and percentages of closed responses were calculated using the Microsoft Excel program. The qualitative analysis was carried out by gathering information from the open questions under different themes. Results and conclusions. According to the speech therapists, the assessment of a multilingual client is challenging. Nonetheless, most of the speech therapists who responded to the survey assessed all their clients’ languages. The result differs from the international study whereby speech therapists rarely assess the home languages of their clients. Assessment of the home language is important for the differential diagnosis. A language disorder cannot be reliably diagnosed based on a single language assessment. Finnish speech therapists mainly used the interview in the anamnesis phase and an interpreter when using assessment methods. Speech therapists were insecure when assessing a multilingual client, especially client's home language skills, but more confident when assessing the client's Finnish, Swedish or Sami skills. Nearly half of the speech therapists had challenges with interpreters, and most respondents would be interested in working with language analysts in the future.
  • Saaristo-Helin, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The aim of this study was to examine the applicability of the Phonological Mean Length of Utterance (pMLU) method to the data of children acquiring Finnish, for both typically developing children and children with a Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Study I examined typically developing children at the end of the one-word stage (N=17, mean age 1;8), and Study II analysed children s (N=5) productions in a follow-up study with four assessment points (ages 2;0, 2;6, 3;0, 3;6). Study III was carried out in the form of a review article that examined recent research on the phonological development of children acquiring Finnish and compared the results with general trends and cross-linguistic findings in phonological development. Study IV included children with SLI (N=4, mean age 4;10) and age-matched peers. The analyses in Studies I, II and IV were made using the quantitative pMLU method. In the pMLU method, pMLU values are counted for both the words that the children targeted (so-called target words) and the words produced by the children. When the child s average pMLU value was divided with the average target word pMLU value, it is possible to examine that child s accuracy in producing the words with the Whole-Word Proximity (PWP) value. In addition, the number of entirely correctly produced words is counted to obtain the Whole-Word Correctness (PWC) value. Qualitative analyses were carried out in order to examine how the children s phoneme inventories and deficiencies in phonotactics would explain the observed pMLU, PWP and PWC values. The results showed that the pMLU values for children acquiring Finnish were relatively high already at the end of the one-word stage (Study I). The values were found to reflect the characteristics of the ambient language. Typological features that lead to cross-linguistic differences in pMLU values were also observed in the review article (Study III), which noted that in the course of phonological acquisition there are a large number of language-specific phenomena and processes. Study II indicated that overall the children s phonological development during the follow-up period was reflected in the pMLU, PWP and PWC values, although the method showed limitations in detecting qualitative differences between the children. Correct vowels were not scored in the pMLU counts, which led to some misleadingly high pMLU and PWP results: vowel errors were only reflected in the PWC values. Typically developing children in Study II reached the highest possible pMLU results already around age 3;6. At the same time, the differences between the children with SLI and age-matched peers in the pMLU values were very prominent (Study IV). The values for the children with SLI were similar to the ones reported for two-year-old children. Qualitative analyses revealed that the phonologies of the children with SLI largely resembled the ones of younger, typically developing children. However, unusual errors were also witnessed (e.g., vowel errors, omissions of word-initial stops, consonants added to the initial position in words beginning with a vowel). This dissertation provides an application of a new tool for quantitative phonological assessment and analysis in children acquiring Finnish. The preliminary results suggest that, with some modifications, the pMLU method can be used to assess children s phonological development and that it has some advantages compared to the earlier, segment-oriented approaches. Qualitative analyses complemented the pMLU s observations on the children s phonologies. More research is needed in order to verify the levels of the pMLU, PWP and PWC values in children acquiring Finnish.
  • Sellman, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    This conversation analytical study analyses the interactional practices adopted by speech therapists and their clients during their training in voice therapy. This study also describes how learning takes place during the therapy process. In contrast to traditional voice therapy studies, change is examined here by using qualitative research methodology, namely conversation analysis. This study describes the structures of interaction in voice therapy, shows how the shortcomings in the client s performance are evaluated and corrected and finally, how the voice training sequence and the participation changes during therapy. The database consists of 51 videotaped voice therapy sessions from six clients with voice disorders. The analytic focus is on the practices in one voice training exercise of the trilled /r/. All the sequences of this exercise (in total 36) and all adjacency pairs within (N = 627) were transcribed and analysed in detail. This study shows that voice training consists of successive model imitation adjacency pairs. This adjacency pair works as a resource in voice training. Furthermore, the use of this particular adjacency pair is an institutional practice in all therapies in this study. The structure of interaction in voice training sequences resembles the practices found in aphasia therapy and in speech therapy of children, as well as the practices of educational and counselling interaction and physiotherapy. More than half of the adjacency pairs were expanded to three (or more) part structures as client s responses were typically followed by therapist s feedback. With their feedback turns, therapists: 1) maintain training practice, 2) evaluate the problem of client s performance, 3) deliver information, 4) activate the client to observe the performance and 5) assist her in correcting the performance. This study describes the four different ways that therapists help their clients to improve the performance after encountering a problem. The longitudinal data shows that learning in therapy is manifested in the changing participation. As clients learn to identify their voice features, they can participate in evaluating or correcting their performances by themselves. This study describes the recurrent professional practices of voice therapists and shows how the institutional commitments of voice therapy are managed in and through talk and interaction. The study also provides detailed description of the management of help in voice training. By describing the interaction in training sequences, this study expands the conception of voice rehabilitation and how it can be researched. The results demonstrate that the learning process and therapy outcomes can be assessed by analysing interaction in therapy. Moreover, this analysis lays the foundation for a novel understanding of the practices in speech therapy and for the development of speech therapy theory. By revealing the activities of interaction, it also makes it possible to discuss them explicitly with speech therapy students. Key words: voice therapy, conversation analysis, institutional interaction, learning, change in participation, feedback, evaluation, error correction, self-repair