The relationship between the control of processes required for speech and language production were investigated in the context of fluency analysis of natural language samples produced by aphasic speakers. We used a new and objective approach to segmentation and fluency analysis. The procedure reveals two lognormal pause duration distributions and one lognormal speech segment duration distribution. We hypothesized that the short and long pause durations reflect articulatory gestures and cognitive processes respectively. The results can be interpreted by reference to either a modular approach to speech and language, or an integrated approach, where brain damage that impacts on the long pauses will, unless it is very minor, impact on articulatory gestures as well. The results provide support for the use of natural language analysis rather than reliance on diagnostic batteries based in the theory of modularity for clinical diagnosis of verbal communication disorders.
Hird, K., & Kirsner, K. (2008). Compromised speech processing in language disorders . Paper presented at the International Speech Production Seminar. Strasbourg, France, 8-12 December, 2008.