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The study aimed at understanding the effect of gender on articulatory stability of native Kannada speaking adults for slow, habitual and fast speaking rates while repeating a pictured bilabial phrase using Articulograph AG501. Twenty males and twenty females in the age range of 18-35 years were included as participants. Participants were ruled out for positive history of speech, language and hearing deficits using routine clinical examination and it was ensured that they were not under medication for any chronic diseases. During the experimental trial, participants were glued with electromagnetic sensitive sensors on Upper Lip (UL), Lower Lip (LL) and Jaw and were instructed to repeat the pictured bilabial phrase in habitual, slow and fast speaking rate conditions in habitual loudness. The movement data was recorded using Articulograph AG501 which measures the articulatory movements in X (Anterioposterior), Y (Lateromedial) and Z (Superior-Inferior) dimensions. For the purpose of present study the articulatory movement data of Z dimension is reported. After recording 10 fluent repetitions from each of the participant, the movement data was filtered for any independent head movement errors using custom made softwares from the manufacturers of Articulograph AG501. To calculate the articulatory movement stability, Spatiotemporal Index (STI) was computed which reflected a cumulative variability of spatial and temporal domains of 10 fluent iterations. Results revealed that there was a high degree of overlap in the articulatory stability between males and females across various speaking rate conditions. Slowed speaking rate showed highest variability whereas the fast rate showed the lowest. The mean STI scores of females were slightly lower than that of males indicating better articulatory stability and control. Across speaking rates, it was observed that females showed better stability even when they spoke in faster speaking rates. Results were discussed based on biological maturity and coordination differences among males and females.
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