Stephanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, a researcher with the Speech Communication Group at MIT, recently presented the world’s trickiest tongue twister to the Acoustical Society of America. Her research focuses on speech errors as a way of understanding normal brain function through analyzing the types and patterns of errors.
The tongue twister? Say this 10 times fast: Pad kid poured curd pulled cold.
The researchers suspect an underlying connection between how the brain takes in information and then directs the muscles of a person’s mouth to articulate it. The next phase of their research includes putting tiny transducers on people’s tongue to scientifically measure their articulation.
Tongue twisters are fun ways to work on articulation and diction to improve speaking skills. They are also be used in speech therapy tasks to practice enunciation, inflection and slowing down speaking rates. If you are having difficulties clearly pronouncing everyday speech, consider discussing your concerns with your healthcare provider. Outpatient speech therapy treatment may be able to help you improve your articulation and intelligibility.