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Age And Velopharyngeal Function During Speech Production

Jeannette D. Hoit, Peter J. Watson, Kimberly E. Hixon, Patricia McMahon, Cynthia L. Johnson

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This investigation was designed to determine if velopharyngeal function during speech production, as reflected in measures of nasal air flow, differs with age in adults. Eighty subjects were studied, 40 women and 40 men, representing four age groups (20–30, 40–50, 60–70, and 80+ years). Results showed no age-related differences in nasal air flow. Sex-related differences in flow were found on productions of nasal consonants only. These findings do not support the suggestion of Hutchinson, Robinson, and Nerbonne (1978) that velopharyngeal function deteriorates with age.