Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Transfer-Wk 26,Tuesday-Starter sounds

This morning doing my shaping, I caught myself doing something which I’ve noticed throughout and since therapy. Basically, I have found that I will often use starter sounds. For example; until I corrected myself, today I was using a little ‘n’ sound in front of my ‘d’s, and putting a ‘u’ in front of the word ‘in’. So ‘dime’ would be ‘nnnndime’, and ‘in’ was being pronounced something like ‘uuuuuin’.

I suspect 2 different things may be happening here.

1. ‘Dime’ may be a feared word, since ‘D’ is a plosive sound, which has historically given me problems. I seem to be preventing full closure of the vocal tract, thereby allowing the ‘d’ sound, which should be silent until broken through, to be voiced. Since the articulatory tract is so similar (if not the same) for ‘n’ as for ‘d’, I reason that cheating before the ‘d’, naturally becomes ‘n’.

But, what is the difference between the ‘d’ and the ‘n’? There is a difference, but I haven’t been able to figure it out. What happens differently when I make the sounds ‘ne’ and ‘de’? I know ‘d’ in ‘de’ is a plosive breakthrough, but I can’t really feel what is happening differently. What is the distinction moving from ‘d’ to ‘e’, versus moving from ‘n’ to ‘e’? Why do they sound different?

Is the difference at the voice box? Is the sound blocked at the voice box for ‘d’? Or is it blocked at the vocal tract like it is for other plosives like ‘p’ and ‘b’?

2. ‘In’ may also be a feared word. On a conscious, rational, level I can’t isolate it as such, but I do know ‘I’ is a sound which came to my attention in therapy, when we started the gentle onset target. It’s a sound that just feels wrong at a gut level even when I know I can say it. Actually, this is one of the sounds which I felt weird about not word switching.

I think this is just the kind of thing I will need to keep on top of until it fades away. It’s like quitting smoking, you suffer for 10 years, then it just kind of goes away.

I’ve also had a problem with the Reduced Articulatory Pressure target (RAPII) lately. This is an easy target to tell you missed, because even if you don’t recall missing it, you’re tongue feels like it was almost bitten off. ;-)

Tomorrow I will be in Toronto. My commitment times and locations are not exactly compressed for efficiency, so I should have 30 minute chunks all over the place to do some good transfers. I also have a teleconference call tomorrow, so it should be an interesting speech day. I just have to avoid getting up early like last time. ;-)


Not meant as advice, please find a qualified therapist if you are interested in similar therapy.

2 Comments:

At Friday, May 05, 2006 9:38:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...

How did your transfer go in Toronto this week?

 
At Saturday, May 20, 2006 7:51:00 PM, Anonymous Stacie said...

Hey there - I want to preface this by saying that I am not a therapist, but a student working on my speech pathology degree. I find the stuttering process absolutely fascinating and really appreciate you posting this journal so that people like me will be able to have some perspective when we get out in the real world.

Anyway, I did want to address your question about the similarities in the "n" and "d" sounds. You're right - the place of production is exactly the same, but the main difference is that "n" is what's classified as a nasal sound. "d", as you already know, is a plosive sound.

So you can get the feeling of the difference...try plugging your nose and making the "n" sound...you can't! But plug your nose and make the "d" sound - no problem, right?

Usually when we're not speaking, we are breathing through our nose..so it's really easy for people to produce the nasal sounds (like "n, m") at the beginning of words before we really start "speech breathing" through the mouth. This could potentially be the reason that it's easier for you to start a "d" word with "n"..."n" is easier to produce because you are already breathing through your nose, then you can easily transition that into the "d" because the place of production is already set, you just move the sound production to your mouth.

Please continue to keep us all posted, and keep up those toastmasters meetings, i have so much respect for the way you have really tackled this situation!

 

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