A NUMBER of studies investigating intelligibility of esophageal speech have been reported by Anderson,1 DiCarlo et al,2 Hyman,3 and Snidecor and Curry.4 However, in each of these studies, intelligibility factors constituted secondary objectives in the studies and the results are limited by small samples and methodological considerations.
Tikofsky5 investigated the relative intelligibility of esophageal and normal speakers. He reported that these two groups differed in intelligibility to such a marked extent that:
... there would be only minimal overlap between the two populations, and that the probability of such overlap occurring would be quite low. Thus, for all practical purposes it would be best to treat the esophageal and normal speakers as two independent populations.
Research, to date, leaves unanswered the question of whether intelligibility is related to overall esophageal-speech proficiency. There is little question that intelligibility is a major determinant of listener reaction to a
Hoops HR, Curtis JF. Intelligibility of the Esophageal SpeakerRelationship of Intelligibility to Overall Ratings. Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;93(3):300–303. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770060438014