Quantifying Articulatory Working Space in Individuals Surgically Treated for Oral Cancer With Electromagnetic Articulography

Thomas B. Tienkamp*, Teja Rebernik, Bence M. Halpern, Rob J.J.H. van Son, Martijn Wieling, Max J.H. Witjes, Sebastiaan A.H.J. de Visscher, Defne Abur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to quantify sentence-level articulatory kinematics in individuals treated for oral squamous cell carcinoma (ITOC) compared to control speakers while also assessing the effect of treatment site (jaw vs. tongue). Furthermore, this study aimed to assess the relation between articulatory-kinematic measures and self-reported speech problems. METHOD: Articulatory-kinematic data from the tongue tip, tongue back, and jaw were collected using electromagnetic articulography in nine Dutch ITOC and eight control speakers. To quantify articulatory kinematics, the two-dimensional articulatory working space (AWS; in mm2), one-dimensional anteroposterior range of motion (AP-ROM; in mm), and superior-inferior range of motion (SI-ROM in mm) were calculated and examined. Self-reported speech problems were assessed with the Speech Handicap Index (SHI). RESULTS: Compared to a sex-matched control group, ITOC showed significantly smaller AWS, AP-ROM, and SI-ROM for both the tongue tip and tongue back sensor, but no significant differences were observed for the jaw sensor. This pattern was found for both individuals treated for tongue and jaw tumors. Moderate nonsignificant correlations were found between the SHI and the AWS of the tongue back and jaw sensors. CONCLUSIONS: Despite large individual variation, ITOC showed reduced one- and two-dimensional tongue, but not jaw, movements compared to control speakers and treatment for tongue and jaw tumors resulted in smaller tongue movements. A larger sample size is needed to establish a more generalizable connection between the AWS and the SHI. Further research should explore how these kinematic changes in ITOC are related to acoustic and perceptual measures of speech.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-399
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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