PEPS-C Research Version and Clinical PEPS-C have both now been replaced by PEPS-C 2015, which combines the user-friendly features of the Clinical version with the facility to collate results of the Research version. The automating of different ratings for expressive task responses is not included in PEPS-C 2015. This new edition includes 4 new function tasks: for Lexical Stress (receptive and expressive) and for Phrase Stress (receptive and expressive). The two discrimination tasks have been amalgamated into one, as have the two imitation tasks: both tasks include features of the new function tasks.
Description: Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C) is a semi-automated test battery for assessing receptive and expressive prosody skills. It has been used in several studies of the speech and understanding of children with high-functioning autism/Asperger's syndrome. It is intended for use by language teachers, clinicians and researchers in assessing prosody in any conditions in both children and adults.
Prosody is a little-investigated aspect of speech, concerning not what you say but the way you say it: the effect of intonation, emphasis and prosodic phrasing on the meaning and impact of the spoken utterance. Prosody is frequently disordered in people with language impairment and learners of second languages. PEPS-C has been developed and used as a research tool and is now available in a version designed to assist therapists and teachers in remedial intervention. Fuller details are given in the order form.
The test is suitable for all ages above 4. A tester administers the test using a computer and elicits responses through auditory stimuli and pictures presented on the screen, using items that are culturally inoffensive and easy to pronounce. The pictures included in the test are likely to be familiar to all, including young children, but a pre- test vocabulary check is completed so that tester and client can agree on the words for what is seen in the pictures. Confidentiality is ensured in that the client is assigned an identity code which is all that appears in computer records. The test is available in several language versions and runs on a PC. The package uses Microsoft Excel to store and display results.
PEPS-C 2015 therefore comprises fourteen tasks, addressing receptive and expressive skills in parallel. The tasks are at two levels, examining 6 prosodic functions (6 receptive and 6 expressive tasks) and prosodic form (2 tasks):
Turn end: indicating whether an utterance requires an answer or not (question/statement)
Affect: indicating mood/emotions/opinions; in this test, signalling liking or reservation with respect to food items
Lexical Stress: indicating placement of primary stress in 2-syllable words
Phrase Stress: differentiating between 2 simple nouns or one compound noun according to stress realisation
Boundary: prosodic phrase boundaries indicating how speech can be verbally 'chunked', as in the difference between 'fruit, salad and milk' and 'fruit-salad and milk'
Contrastive Stress: emphasising one word in an utterance to focus attention on it, e.g. 'white COW' as opposed to 'WHITE cow'.
Prosodic form processing requires non-cognitive skills. The tasks are:
an auditory discrimination task, essentially a same/different task. Stimuli exemplify the prosodic variations that convey the different meanings used in the receptive prosodic function tasks (receptive)
an imitation task requiring the production of the types of prosodic variation needed for completing the expressive function tasks (expressive).
The assessment of skills at two levels helps to determine the level at which a client has a problem with prosody, thus enabling better targeting of intervention. The test is not standardised, but a limited amount of normative data is available.
The test is easy to administer but requires some familiarisation. Receptive tasks present an auditory stimulus with two pictures as response options on the computer screen: clients indicate one half of the computer screen by way of response. In expressive function tasks, pictures appear on the screen and clients have to say what they see: their utterances are scored by the tester on a separate keypad (see below). For imitation tasks, testers evaluate utterances as Good, Fair or Poor: a training programme is included in the package to ensure uniformity of judgments.
PEPS-C 2015 can automatically collate summary and detailed results from multiple clients in a separate Excel workbook.
 As at 1 October 2015: Dutch, English (Australian, North American, Southern British English, Scottish Edinburgh, Irish), French, Norwegian, Spanish. The test is not currently available on Apple Mac computers, though the results workbook can be used on a Mac