Comparison of speaking rate, articulation rate and alternating motion rate in dysarthric speakers.
ABSTRACT Despite recent indications that speaking rate, articulation rate and alternating motion rate (AMR) are sensitive to the influence of neurological disease on speech production in dysarthric speakers, the relationship among these parameters remains largely questionable. In the current study, speech samples were collected from 62 dysarthric speakers and 34 controls while reading a passage. Acoustic analysis investigated speaking rate, articulation rate and AMR and compared these parameters between the dysarthric and control groups and within the control and dysarthric group. The major findings were: (1) Speaking rate, articulation rate and AMR were all markedly lower in dysarthric speakers than in controls. (2) Marked correlations were recognized between speaking rate, articulation rate and AMR in the dysarthric group. (3) Compared with the speaking rate and articulation rate, AMR is characterized as follows: (i) variation was more limited in controls, and (ii) the control group was clearly distinguishable from the dysarthric group. (4) Unlike in controls, AMR in the dysarthric speakers was notably lower than their articulation rate. We therefore conclude that AMR is a more easily detected sign of abnormal articulation than speaking rate and articulation rate.
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ABSTRACT: In comparison with laryngeal voice, substitute voice after laryngectomy is characterized by restricted aero-acoustic properties. Until now, an objective means of prosodic differences between substitute and normal voices does not exist. In a pilot study, we applied an automatic prosody analysis module to 18 speech samples of laryngectomees (age: 64.2 +/- 8.3 years) and 18 recordings of normal speakers of the same age (65.4 +/- 7.6 years). Ninety-five different features per word based upon the speech energy, fundamental frequency F(0) and duration measures on words, pauses and voiced/voiceless sections were measured. These reflect aspects of loudness, pitch and articulation rate. Subjective evaluation of the 18 patients' voices was performed by a panel of five experts on the criteria "noise", "speech effort", "roughness", "intelligibility", "match of breath and sense units" and "overall quality". These ratings were compared to the automatically computed features. Several of them could be identified being twice as high for the laryngectomees compared to the normal speakers, and vice versa. Comparing the evaluation data of the human experts and the automatic rating, correlation coefficients of up to 0.84 were measured. The automatic analysis serves as a good means to objectify and quantify the global speech outcome of laryngectomees. Even better results are expected when both the computation of the features and the comparison method to the human ratings will have been revised and adapted to the special properties of the substitute voices.Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 12/2007; 264(11):1315-21. · 1.29 Impact Factor