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Changes in the prosodic structure of journalistic text before and after speech therapy intervention


TV news speaking style
Speech rhythm

How to Cite

Constantini AC. Changes in the prosodic structure of journalistic text before and after speech therapy intervention. J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2021 Feb. 4 [cited 2023 May 28];2(2):23-42. Available from:


Prosody has a crucial role in TV news speaking style in transmitting the message to listener. Speaking style influences prosodic structure and may characterize a distinctive mark of a person or a social group speech. Besides, speaking style allows the speaker to attract the listener´s attention to particular chunks of his/her announcement. The aim of this work is to study the rhythmic organization of Brazilian Portuguese (BP) TV news speaking style by analyzing the evolution of the normalized duration of vowel-to-vowel units (VV units) throughout the utterances in two conditions (before and after vocal training workshops). For this study two students of journalism were submitted to vocal training workshops for six months. Each meeting lasted one hour and thirty minutes. The training workshops intended to improve phonoarticulatory aspects involved in TV news speaking style. The students read a specific text before and after the training but did not receive direct instructions as how to read the text. The Praat Software was used to analyze the VV durations and statistic analyses were carried out. Statistical analyses of VV durations did not show differences between before and after intervention as a whole, but showed differences in specific stretches of the utterances, particularly in phrase stress position. These differences across conditions were considered an indication of the strategies developed by the participants during the training, such as the increase of silent pause duration and the increase of VV duration in general. The increase in VV units duration after the training may be considered a way of speaking the news with more emphasis. These strategies did not appear before training. Based on the results of VV timing after training it is possible to say that the training had a crucial role in improving the professional-related subjects´ speaking style. Perceptual tests were carried out to exam how the strategies used by the subjects to read the announcement would be interpreted by the listener comparing before and after intervention. The perceptual tests suggested that listeners do perceive emphasis in after-training reading and this seems to be related not only to longer VV units, but also to expanded fundamental frequency range. The order that the announcements were presented had influenced the listeners´ answers.


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Copyright (c) 2012 Ana Carolina Constantini


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