PG-3: EF-C
SYNCHRONIZING CUES IN PHRASES AND SENTENCES

Practice sessions for closer synchronization of vowels and diphthongs, consonants in syllables and consonant clusters are available elsewhere in this manual. If you haven't reviewed PG-1: EF-H and PG-2: EF-H, EF-I or EF-J, it might be helpful to do so before attempting the practice stratgies in this session.

The demands for synchronization of cues with spoken syllables may be slightly different at the phrase or sentence level of utterance. This assumption grows out of anecdotal evidence (watching very proficient cuers) and also from some things we know about speech itself. One thing we know is that spoken syllables very tremendously in their ability to carry meaning in an English sentence. The sense of what is said rests primarily in a few "headline" syllables. To demonstrate this phenomenon here is a brief dialogue with only the "headline" syllables included. You should have no trouble following the conversation:

  Husband:  "Where.........put.....socks?"
  Wife:     ".....find......bott..drawer."
  Husband:  ".........sure?"
  Wife:     "Look......right.....side."
  Husband:  ".......found......thanks!"
If we reversed the procedure and reported only the non-headline syllables in the conversation, you would need to be a mind-reader to decipher the meaning:

  Husband:  "....did you...my.....?"
  Wife:     "You'll....them in your.....on......"
  Husband:  "Are you.......?"
  WIFE:     "......on the....hand.........."
  Husband:  I.....them........!"
Alhough we included the same number of syllables in the second dialogue the ambiguities were profound. We haven't the slightest idea what they are talking about. What we are proposing is that if the meaning of a sentence is dependent upon a few headline syllables, then the perception of the non-headline syllables is less critical. Even if we couldn't hear them very well we could probably guess what they were. If this is true, it may be possible to concentrate our efforts on precise synchronization of "headline" syllables and let the non-headline syllables take care of themselves. Even if we are wrong about this, you'll find that it is much easier to achieve more acurate matching of cues to all syllables if you concentrate on fixed points in the sentence. Your cueing speed will increase also. So try it!

Silently scan this sentence enough times to memorize it:

   "Where did you put my socks?"
Now cue-and-say only the headline syllables with accurate synchronization:
   "Where......put........socks?"
Practice cueing the three headline words in sequence a few times until synchronization feels right (or looks right in the mirror), or cue-and-say the entire sentence, but pay no attention to synchronization of the words "did," "you," and "my." Aim for the headline words: "WHERE did you PUT my SOCKS?"

Using the same strategy, try the following sentences, synchronizing first only the syllables in BOLD type. Then cue-and-say the entire sentence, letting the other syllables take care of themselves. Caution: be sure to include liaison positions where appropriate in your initial practice. For example: cue /redi/[3-c,1-t] not /red/ even though both syllables in the word "ready" are not headlined.

  1. "WHERE have you BEEN?"
  2. "WHERE have YOU been?" (Does the meaning change?)
  3. "Are you READY for BED?"
  4. "WHY did you DO it?"
  5. "Would you LIKE-aNOther BOWL-of SOUP?"
  6. "What-TIME shall-I CALL you?"
  7. "TAKE-it-in the LIVing ROOM."
  8. "Have you FINished your HOMEwork?"
  9. "I haven't GOT-a DOLlar!"
  10. "What HAPpened to your HAND?"
  11. "CAN'T you SEE I'm WAshing DIshes!"
  12. "I'll be WITH you in-a MInute."
  13. "Don't you FEEL well this MORning?"
Before you cue-and-say the following sentences underline the syllables you think should be headlined and practice synchronizing these syllables first. Don't underline more than three or four in a given sentence. If you have trouble picking out the headline syllables, say the sentence conversationally and listen for the syllables yo stressed (said louder).

1. "A penny for your thoughts."
2. "I'll do that as soon as I have time."
"Do you understand what I'm saying?"
4. "Put your bike in the garage before it rains."
5. "My! That alligator has a huge mouth!"
6. "Would you like some ice cream with your pie?"
7. "It's time to go to school now."
8. "Hurry up -- or you'll miss the bus!"
9. "I'll be with you in just a minute. Don't rush me!"
10. "Tell your sister we're ready to go."

(NOTE: The headline syllables you selected may reflect a slightly different meaning for each sentence than the one's selected by the author. No problem as long as your meaning makes sense.)


1. "A PENny for your THOUGHTS."

2. "I'll DO that as SOON as I have TIME."

3. "Do you underSTAND what I'm SAYing?"

4. "Put your BIKE in the gaRAGE before it RAINS."

5. "MY! That ALligator has a HUGE MOUTH!"

6. "Would you LIKE some ICE cream with your PIE?"

7. "It's TIME to go to SCHOOL now."

8. "Hurry UP -- or you'll MISS the BUS!"

9. "I'LL be with you in a JUST a MINute. Don't RUSH me!"

10. "TELL your SISter we're READy to GO."


To carry over this skill into your own sentences or phrases, jot down some of the things you say often to your hearing-impaired child and pick out the headline syllables. Obviously you shouldn't waste your time working on sentences you'll never say, but -- depending upon the age and interests of your child -- practice headline syllables in nursery rhymes, favorite stories, poems, jokes, etc. This kind of modified synchronization practice will also do much to improve the natural rhythm of your Cued Speech.


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