I have asound.conf all commented out. I'm running speech-dispatcher under the default configuration from the arch git package you provided.
I'm still having these output issues.
Do you run espeak? I think I remember reading that S.D. recommends festival, but I never got around to checking out the difference in performance.
>Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 05:29:47 -0700
>From: Steve Holmes <steve holmes88 gmail com>
>To: orca-list gnome org
>Subject: Re: [orca-list] orca-list] Orca speech slows down from time to time
>Message-ID: <20111019122947 GB12619 linlap wavecable com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Follow my previous comments concerning PulseAudio! What do you bet, if
>you comment out all the pulse stuff in /etc/asound.conf and basically
>cripple pulse that speech dispatcher will work better. I am not
>experiencing these speech slow-downs. Also I run speech dispatcher as
>a central service and with ALSA and LIBAO and all seems fine in that