Compensatory strategies for the alveolar flap [ɾ] production in the presence of ankyloglossia

ABSTRACT Purpose: to analyze the compensatory strategies used by subjects with ankyloglossia for the production of the consonantal alveolar flap sound /ɾ/. Methods: a cross-sectional analytic observational comparative study was conducted with 88 subjects, 44 being diagnosed with ankyloglossia and 44 with normal lingual frenulum, matched by age and gender. They were asked to repeat the syllable /ra/ five times in a row. Video recordings of the speech were taken. Frame by frame analysis of all recordings were performed to verify tongue, lip, and mandible movements during the production of the alveolar flap. The analysis of the films was performed by two Speech Language Pathologists specialized in Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder. Fisher’s Exact Test was used for statistical treatment (p≤0.05.) Results: the frame by frame analysis of the alveolar flap production of subjects with and without ankyloglossia showed that subjects with ankyloglossia performed several compensatory strategies when producing this sound. There was a statistically significant difference (p=0.001) when subjects with and without ankyloglossia were compared. Conclusion: subjects with ankyloglossia used several lip, tongue, and mandible compensatory strategies to produce the Brazilian Portuguese consonantal alveolar flap /ɾ/.