Acoustic Characteristics of the Question-Statement Contrast in Severe Dysarthria Due to Cerebral Palsy

Patel, Rupal
December 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2003, Vol. 46 Issue 6, p1401
Academic Journal
Studies of prosodic control in severe dysarthria (DYS) have focused on differences between impaired and nonimpaired speech in terms of the range and variation of fundamental frequency (F0), intensity, and duration. Whether individuals with severe DYS can adequately signal prosodic contrasts and which acoustic cues they use to do so has received far less attention. This article focused on the question-statement contrast. In nonimpaired speech, this contrast is believed to be cued primarily by FO, although some researchers have argued that duration also plays a role. This study examined how 8 speakers with severe DYS due to cerebral palsy signaled the question-statement contrast for a set of 10 short phrases. An additional 8 healthy controls (HCs) produced the same set of phrases as questions and statements. To analyze the speech recordings, peak FO (F0peak), average FO (F0ave), slope of FO (F0slope), peak intensity (INTpeak), average intensity (INTave), slope of intensity (INTslope), and duration measures were calculated for each syllable (S1, S2, S3) within each phrase. Acoustic analyses revealed that speakers with DYS and HCs used FO, duration, and to a lesser degree, intensity cues to signal the contrast. Moreover, productions by speakers with DYS had longer and louder S3 for questions compared to productions by HCs, suggesting that speakers with DYS may have been compensating for their reduced ability to control FO by exploiting their residual control of loudness and duration. Data from a previous perceptual study (R. Patel, 2002b) with the same speakers with DYS were used to analyze the relationship between acoustic characteristics and listener perceptions of their productions. Logistic regression analysis revealed that S1_F0ave; S2_duration; and S3_duration, S3_F0peak, S3_F0slope, S3_InTave, and S3_Intslope were...


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