FITI: Functional Importance to Intelligibility

Development of new speech materials that achieve phonemic and allophonic coverages for speech evaluation

Speech materials used to elicit speech for clinical and research purposes in communication disorders need to represent the language. Through collaboration with Dr. Naomi Gurevich (Communication Sciences and Disorders, Purdue University Fort Wayne), we first set out to evaluate the standard passages The Caterpillar, The Grandfather Passage, The Rainbow Passage, and Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment in terms of their phonemic and positional coverage, findings only scant positional coverage in all. Thus, we have developed the FITI framework, and developed new speech materials that include both phonemic coverage and allophonic coverage, as well as a tool to prioritize clinical treatment of targets. For a quick overview, visit our ASHA 2023 virtual technical session.

Images from the Review of our 2023(a) article introducing FITI in The Informed SLP.


  • Gurevich, N., & Kim, H. (2024). A hierarchical approach to efficient assessment of functional intelligibility: The modular FITI (functional importance to intelligibility) phrase list. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups
  • Gurevich, N., & Kim, H. (2023b). Development of novel speech stimuli with phonetic coverage and phonemic balance. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 8(2), 424-437.
  • Gurevich, N., & Kim, H. (2023a). The phonetics and phonology of intelligibility: The functional importance to intelligibility of speech sounds. In Clinical Applications of Linguistics to Speech-Language Pathology: A Guide for Clinicians. Routledge.
  • Gurevich, N., & Kim, H. (2022). Examination of consonantal phonetic coverage in standard reading passages. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 7(5), 1573–1582.
  • Kim, H., & Gurevich, N. (2021). Positional asymmetries in consonant production and intelligibility in dysarthric speech. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 37(2), 125-142.