Prosodic and lexical-syntactic aspects of the therapeutic register

Li Sheng, Karla K. McGregor, Yi Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The current study examined features of speech addressed to younger versus older and impaired versus normal listeners and explored factors that might motivate speech modification in the therapeutic register. Ten speech-language clinicians in training were engaged in a simulated storytelling task and produced narrations to four imaginary listener groups. Results revealed that clinicians modified their speech at multiple levels according to both the age and the diagnostic status of their listeners. As a group, the clinicians demonstrated decreased speaking rate, elongation of pauses, and use of shorter and less complex sentences when speaking to young children and individuals with language impairments. Despite these group trends there was notable individual variability between clinicians. Findings from this constrained experimental context may be extended to real life clinician-client interactions and have implications for therapeutic success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • Diagnostic status
  • Intervention
  • Therapeutic register

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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