General information on devising speech material for data collection

For clinical purposes, quality of cleft palate speech is normally described in terms of cleft palate speech characteristics (or 'errors') based on perceptual assessment. In order to ensure validity of intra- ('before-after') and inter-subject comparisons, clinical assessment of cleft palate speech should be made, using standardised speech material. There is an increasing need for inter-centre comparisons of speech outcome (both within countries and across different countries) based on clinical data, this demands the use of standardised speech material. If inter-centre comparisons involve speakers from different language backgrounds certain methodological implications should be taken into consideration (Hutters and Henningsson, 2004). Specific requirements for the structure of the speech material are outlined on the following pages. They were originally developed in the Eurocran Speech Project and will now be administered and further developed by the CLISPI Core Group. The material consists of a word list and short sentences. The English word list and sentences are given as an example.

In reality it may not be possible for all of the above requirements of the speech material to be strictly met. This should be taken into account when interpreting the speech data.