This investigation is the second in a series to examine a potential source of reduced intelligibility in dysarthric speech, namely the mismatch between listeners' perceptual strategies and the acoustic information available in the dysarthric speech signal. Lexical boundary error (LBE) analysis was conducted on listener transcripts from phrases produced by speakers with hypokinetic dysarthria, ataxic dysarthria, and normal controls. By design, the hypokinetic and ataxic dysarthric tapes elicited similar intelligibility (words-correct) scores. However, they elicited different numbers and patterns of lexical boundary errors. The nature of the error pattern differences can be traced to the listeners' use of available syllabic strength information to segment the acoustic stream. Specifically, although both dysarthric speech samples elicited numerous lexical boundary errors, those for the hypokinetic speech generally conformed to predictions offered from studies of degraded normal speech. Those for the ataxic speech did not conform strongly to such predictions. It appears that the prosodic deficits of the ataxic speech (tendency toward syllabic isochrony, excessive loudness variation, and reduced vowel working space consequent to reductions in vowel strength) posed more of a problem for listeners than did the prosodic deficits of the hypokinetic speech (rapid rate, monotony, reduced vowel working space). (C) 2000 Acoustical Society of America.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics