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Phenotypes and familiality in speech disorders

Over the past two decades, significant advances have been made in speech analysis and speech pattern recognition techniques, however, the penetration of these advances into the speech disorders research arena has lagged, and penetration into the clinic is virtually non-existent. We propose to address this lag by adapting and extending speech recognition technology based on Hidden Markov Modeling (HMM) to an analysis of speech from children with speech delay of unknown origin. We will demonstrate the efficacy of this approach by (a) establishing the effectiveness of the proposed analysis techniques in identifying acoustically defined categories of segmental distortions (endophenotypes), (b) examining these acoustically-defined endophenotypes for evidence of heritability and (c) searching for evidence of genetic linkage of the obtained endophenotypes to a region of chromosome 3 that has been implicated in speech disorders. [Work supported by NIDCD]