Nasality in healthy Dutch children
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Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the percent nasalance for a group of healthy Dutch speaking children aged 4;8-6;3 years, and to investigate differences in percent nasalance based on gender, age and regional dialect. Design: Children imitated the speech-language therapist, who read aloud each sentence of three standard Dutch texts. These texts were a nasal text (a text with many nasal consonants), an oral-nasal text (a passage containing approximately the same percentage of nasal consonants as found in standard Dutch speech), and an oral text (a passage excluding nasal consonants). Participants: Thirty-eight healthy children were included. The children were inhabitants of Alkmaar, a city in the north part of the Netherlands and they were recruited from three primary schools in Alkmaar. The children have Dutch as native language, normal speech and language development, no history of tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and no common cold on the day of the evaluation. Intervention: Nasometry is used for calculating the percent nasalance. Main Outcome Measures: Mean nasalance scores, standard deviations of the mean and range of scores were calculated for the nasal, oral-nasal and oral texts. Method: The Nasometer II 6400 was used for data collection. The three texts were designed specifically for the Nasometer in the Netherlands. The data from Alkmaar was analyzed with an Analysis of Variance, a repeated measures ANOVA. To determine differences in percent nasalance between the data from the south region of the Netherlands and the data from Alkmaar, three one sample t-test comparisons were performed. Results: Normative percent nasalance values were obtained for the nasal text (53.47%) oral-nasal text (27.11%), and the oral text (11.66%). No significant differences to dialect, gender or age were found in this study. Conclusions: This study demonstrated no dialect, gender or age effect on three Dutch texts. Results from this study have clinical significance for speech-language therapists working with resonance disorders in the Netherlands.