Date of Award

Winter 12-1-1973

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


The purpose of this study was to determine if judged speech defectiveness is systematically based on the distance between the target and the substituted phoneme, as measured by the number of distinctive-feature errors occurring in a phoneme substitution. Eighteen passages of continuous speech, arranged in paired comparisons, were presented to fifty subjects. Fifteen passages were prepared so that each contained ten phoneme substitutions of one, two, three, four, or five feature errors. Three passages were articulated correctly. Forty-five pairs of passages were played for the subjects who x?ere required to judge which passage of a pair was the more defective. To analyze the data, paired-comparison matrices were constructed. There was evidence of some relationship between the number of feature errors and judged speech defectiveness. The results, hoxxrever, showed that substituted phonemes were not systematically judged to be more defective with increasing departure from the target phoneme.