Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Communication Sciences and Disorders

Program or Major

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Jill Thorson

Second Advisor

Meg Morgan

Third Advisor

Don Robin


Prosody is a characteristic of speech that allows others to understand emotion, emphasis, and meaning of language more deeply. Perceptual accuracy by speech-language pathologists is critical to diagnosing speech disorders. This study examined perceptual abilities of three different groups in identifying lexical stress across groups. Four SLPs, 6 SLP graduate students, and 6 untrained listeners listened to 396 audio files elicited in a prior study using the lexical stress tasks from the Prosodic Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C) and the naturalistic lexical stress (NLS) tasks. Listeners were asked if syllable stress was on the first syllable, second syllable, or ambiguous. Findings show that perceptual accuracy was ~60% for SLPs, who performed significantly better than the SLP grad students and the untrained listeners. This work highlights the importance of training perceptual discrimination in speech-language pathology.