ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

4aSC15. Speaking rate and alcohol intoxication.

Gea DeJong

Harry Hollien

Camilo Martin

G. Allan Alderman

Inst. for Advanced Study of the Commun. Process., Univ. of Florida, 63 Dauer Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611

Eighteen subjects were recorded at five different levels of intoxication: i.e., at BrAC levels of 0.00, 0.04--0.05, 0.08--0.09, 0.12--0.13, and 0.09--0.08. Two of the speech tasks completed were: reading a standard passage and repeating diadochokinetic syllables as fast as possible. The effects of intoxication on speaking rate were measured by the time needed to read the rainbow passage and produce 20 utterances of ``pataka,'' ``shapupi,'' and ``buttercup.'' The first of these reflects the subjects' ability to sustain motor speech and the second their motor speech competence. Although variation was observed among speakers, the overall tendency was for both the diadochokinetic test and the rainbow passage to increase in length (s) from sober (BrAC=0.00) to the intoxicated level (BrAC=0.12). Further, the aural perceptual experiments carried out in parallel suggest that listeners might use rate when judging the level of intoxication. That is, speakers judged as highly intoxicated at 0.12 BrAC (ratings were performed by 50 auditors using a 5-pt. scale) exhibited a mean difference of 3.05 s between sober and intoxicated utterances, whereas those speakers who did not sound intoxicated showed a mean difference of 0.05 s. [Research supported by NIH.]