The Arabic and English phonological systems are different in terms of the range of sound used, as is the emphasis that is placed on vowels and consonants. There are also some Arabic phonemes that do not exist in English and vice versa. Therefore, the need to develop an Audiogram that will help diagnose and treat audiology problems specific to the Arabic speech spectrum is evident.
Professor Sharifa Al Balushi, Audiologist, Armed Forces Hospital, Oman, School of Health Sciences, will be discussing a pilot study she conducted in order to develop an Arabic Speech Spectrum Audiogram at the 11th Middle East Update in Otolaryngology Conference & Exhibition – Head and Neck Surgery (ME-OTO) from the 20-22 April 2014 at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Dubai, UAE.
A speech spectrum audiogram is a pure tone audiogram which contains most of the spoken phonemes plotted according to their average frequencies and their average intensities and is known as the speech banana.
According to Professor Al Bulushi, “In my current practice, on average, I usually see around eight patients a day. Many of the patients have hearing and speech difficulties and my role is to provide them with hearing aids and other solutions to overcome their hearing impairment and other ailments. During my university years, the Arabic speech spectrum audiogram had not been developed yet, so I carried out a pilot study in order to plot a speech spectrum audiogram that can be used for Arab patients.”
As with the English speech spectrum, the Arabic speech spectrum audiogram will provide a tool that can be used in counselling patients and explaining their hearing assessment results in relation to speech. The speech spectrum audiogram might be used during hearing aid fitting by adjusting the phoneme frequencies which are hard to perceive.
“As we know, languages consist of small linguistic units called phonemes, where changing a phoneme in a word will give another meaning. Therefore, it is important to pronounce each phoneme correctly, be able to form and understand written and spoken words in order to learn. In addition, learning the psychoacoustic characteristics of languages is critical to understand speech in some languages, for example in Chinese the pitch is very important to distinguish words,” commented Professor Al Bulushi.
Running alongside the ME-OTO conference is an exhibition with more than 53 exhibitors showcasing the latest technologies and product launches from manufacturers and distributors from 18 countries within the ENT field. Products such as hearing aids, laser machines, microsurgical instruments and sleep apnoea devices will be on display from companies such as Karl Storz, Olympus and Oticon.
For more information please contact:
Weaam El Ataya
Public Relations and Social Media Executive
Informa Life Science Exhibitions