Acoustic Analyses of Prosodic Abnormalities in the Motor Speech Disorders

R Kent, J Kent, J Duffy


Prosodic disturbances are prominent in motor speech disorders, but it has been challenging to

put these disturbances into relief with quantitative methods. This poster describes recent

quantitative acoustic analyses of dysprosody applied to the dysarthrias associated with

traumatic brain injury, cerebellar disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Particular emphasis is

given to the pairwise variability index (which quantifies disturbances of rhythm), and

close-copy f0 stylization (which  describes and quantifies disturbances in intonation). These

and other analyses are typically done within breath groups so that the data can be co-

registered within a common perceptual-physiologic frame. The patterns observed within

clinical groups and within individual participants have potential for the development of

“dysprosody profiles” based on quantitative indexes. These analyses also are useful for

resynthesis studies in which selected acoustic parameters are adjusted by computer to

determine their effects on perceptually judged prosody.