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PEPS-C (Profling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication)

Prosody Skills Test

Profling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C) is a semi-automated test
battery for assessing receptive and epressive prosody skills! "t has been used in several studies of
the speech and understanding of children #ith high-functioning autism$%sperger&s syndrome (see
'eferences and 'eadings)! "t is intended for use by clinicians and researchers in assessing prosody in
any conditions in both children and adults! See a demonstration of the test on the follo#ing #ebsite(
http($$###!)mu!ac!uk$ssrc$prosodyinasd$* shortly to be transferred to ###!peps-c!com!
Prosody is a little-investigated aspect of speech* concerning not #hat you say but the #ay you
say it( the e+ect of intonation* emphasis and prosodic phrasing on the meaning and impact of the
spoken utterance! Prosody is fre)uently disordered in people #ith language impairment and learners
of second languages! "t has been developed and used as a research tool and is no# available in a
version designed to assist therapists and teachers in remedial intervention!
The test is suitable for all ages above ,! % tester administers the test using a computer and
elicits responses through auditory stimuli and pictures presented on the screen* using items that are
culturally ino+ensive and easy to pronounce! The pictures included in the test are likely to be familiar
to all* including young children* but a pre- test vocabulary check is completed so that tester and
client can agree on the #ords for #hat is seen in the pictures! Confdentiality is ensured in that the
client is assigned an identity code #hich is all that appears in computer records! The test is available
in several language versions
and #ill run on a PC!
PEPS-C comprises t#elve tasks* addressing receptive and epressive skills in parallel! The tasks
are at t#o levels* eamining prosodic function and prosodic form respectively! PEPS-C defnes four
main linguistic functions conveyed by prosody* #ith a receptive and an epressive task for each(
-! Turn end( indicating #hether an utterance re)uires an ans#er or not ()uestion$statement)
.! %+ect( indicating mood$emotions$opinions/ in this test* signalling liking or reservation #ith respect
to food items
0! Chunking( prosodic phrase boundaries indicating ho# speech can be verbally &chunked&* as in the
di+erence bet#een &fruit* salad and milk& and &fruit-salad and milk&
,! Contrastive Stress or 1ocus( emphasising one #ord in an utterance to focus attention on it* e!g!
&#hite C23& as opposed to &34"TE co#&!
Prosodic form processing re)uires non-cognitive skills! The tasks are(
- t#o auditory discrimination tasks* essentially same$di+erent tasks! Stimuli eemplify the prosodic
variations that convey the di+erent meanings used in the receptive prosodic function tasks!
- t#o imitation tasks re)uiring the production of the types of prosodic variation needed for
completing the epressive function tasks!
The assessment of skills at t#o levels helps to determine the level at #hich a client has a problem
#ith prosody* thus enabling better targeting of intervention! The test is not standardised* but a
limited amount of normative data is available!
The test is easy to administer but re)uires some familiarisation! 'eceptive tasks present an auditory
stimulus #ith t#o pictures as response options on the computer screen( clients indicate one half of
the computer screen by #ay of response! "n epressive function tasks* pictures appear on the screen
and clients have to say #hat they see( their utterances are scored by the tester on a separate
keypad (see belo#)! 1or imitation tasks* testers evaluate utterances as 5ood* 1air or Poor( a training
programme is included in the package to ensure uniformity of 6udgments!
The PEPS-C research version automatically collates summary and detailed data from multiple clients
in spreadsheets and allo#s other raters to enter 6udgments in epressive tasks for the assessment of
inter-rater reliability! Support for this version is ho#ever likely to be limited! The clinical version does
not have the inter-rater facility* but unless this is particularly re)uired* the clinical version is likely to
be suitable for most purposes* including research!
To order the test* please complete and email the 2rder 1orm and agree to the Terms and Conditions!
%s at - 7ecember .889( 1lemish* English (%ustralian* :orth %merican* Southern ;ritish English* Scottish Edinburgh* "rish)*
1rench* :or#egian* Spanish! The test is not currently available on %pple <ac computers!
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PEPS-C (Profling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication)
Prosody Skills Test
Scoring is automated in both versions* ensuring safety from transcription errors and enabling the
tester to focus on the client=s performance! The program includes a scoresheet for each client that
can be printed out! "ndividual scores can be compared #ith data obtained from control clients! "tem
scores* useful for determining error patterns* are provided in detailed scoresheets in the clinical
The overall scheme is illustrated belo#(
Test administered in clinic* 7etailed 'esults
school* home* etc!
'esults presented in Ecel sheets(
'ecord 1orm and 'esults Summary
%nd in an Ecel 7etailed results sheet(
- >eypad for recording tester=s 6udgments

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