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To produce intelligible speech, the moving column of air from the lungs must be precisely controlled at the laryngeal valve, at the palatopharyngeal port, and at various constriction points created within the vocal tract by movements of the tongue, lips, and jaw. Since the aerodynamic control for speech involves respiratory, phonatory, and laryngeal activity, judgments of air expenditure are needed to assist in speech diagnosis and in planning therapy. The speaker's ability to control air expenditure during oral reading is also rated on a five-point scale.

Rating Comments Sample
Level 1Severe problem-cannot coordinate respiration and phonation to sustain tone. This sample demonstrates a complete inability to control respiration for tone generation. The voice is extremely tense in quality with nearly all the sounds produced at the level of the larynx. A hard attack initiates tone with a glottal stop used to arrest tone. Although the speaker is uttering sounds on exhalation, proper coordination of respiration and phonation does not exist. The rating of one in control of air expenditure for this sample carries with it an associated rating of one in efficient air usage during speech, and a one in rate since the speaker is unable to sustain tone. The sample has few, if any, intelligible consonants. However, at times there was some semblance of a voiceless fricative. It is also noted that subsequent to the hard attack vowel like tones sometimes shifted to a much higher pitch level. (Male)
Level 2Marked excess or deficiency in air expenditure. This sample demonstrates a marked problem in coordination of respiration and phonation. Short inhalations and exhalations are used for nearly every word attempted. Thus contributing to the very slow single syllable utterance pattern which may be described as producing a panting effect. The voice is weak with mild pitch breaks. (Male)
Level 3Moderate excess or deficiency in air expenditure. This speaker sometimes demonstrates a moderate excess of air expenditure during the production of some consonants. At other times, a moderate deficiency in air expenditure is evident. Errors in phrasing seem to be related to an inability to properly gauge respiratory needs relative to utterance length. At times, the speaker runs out of air before the phrase is completed. In this instance, speech continues on the residual supply with an associated weakening in intensity or speech stops for a short inhalation to complete the phrase. Although individual phonemes are articulated acceptably, the total intelligibility of the sample is unquestionably lowered by faulty respiratory patterning of speech. (Female)
Level 4Slight excess or deficiency in air expenditure. The speaker's use of air during speech fluctuates between a slight excess at the beginning of phrases and a slight deficiency at the endings of breath groups. The rate is somewhat slow, constituting a moderate problem relative to an appropriate blending of words into functional units. Voice quality is characterized as moderate denasality. (Male)
Level 5Normal. This sample demonstrates normal air usage during speech. Articulation and prosodic features are well within the range of normal. However, the pitch register is rated minus four or slightly below optimal level with mild hoarseness associated. (Female)