Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Jorge Camacho

Second Advisor

Paula R Feldman


Sentences offer a useful level of linguistic complexity for both the teaching and study of speechreading. In this study we measured the effect of providing orthographic cues to the content of the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) Sentences. Three experimental topics were addressed. In each experiment the benefit of the cues on speechreading was determined by comparison with the uncued speechreading performance available from a previous study (Adams, 2002). In Experiment I the effect of providing the speechreader with a single orthographic word (cue) in either the initial or the final part of the sentence was examined. Results indicated that sentences with cues provided significantly greater speechreading accuracy scores than sentences without cues. Furthermore, results revealed a significant difference in speechreadability scores for the early versus late cued sentences, with participants scoring significantly higher with early-cued than with late-cued sentences. Experiment II, was utilized as a control condition in which the same sentences were presented with orthographic cue removed but with the number of words cue (sentence length) present. Results indicated that knowledge of the number of words to be expected in a sentence during speechreading did not seem to produce a benefit in the absence of actual cued words. In Experiment III the effect of supplying an incorrect (semantically unrelated but visually similar) word was examined and the effect of this misleading cuing on good and poor speechreaders was measured. As expected, good speechreaders were far more skilled at over-riding the incorrect cue than the poor speechreaders. Key words in sentences in which a correct cue was given were also identified more frequently than key words in sentences containing a miscue. Results appear to reinforce the presence of an "island of intelligibility" for observers, where misinformation can limit the ability to correctly decipher the remainder of the message.