Suprasegmental aspects of speech

Aspects of voice are important in speech. The three most important aspects are:
  • Primary word stress
  • Utterance intonation pattern
  • Voice quality
None of these aspects are associated with the segments of speech, that is the consonant and vowels remain largely the same.

As these aspects are 'overlaid' or 'above' the segmental aspects of speech, they are known as 'suprasegmental aspects of speech'.

For speech and language therapists, these aspects are important, especially for service users with:
  • Dysarthria
  • Voice Disorder
  • Neurodivergent service users, such as Autistic people. Suprasegmental aspects may be very different but equally valid when compared to neurotypical speakers. Such differences would not necessarily be targets for therapy, unless the service user wished to work on them.

Follow the links to the pages on this website to learn more about suprasegmental aspects of speech:

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