Back     Close

Identification of Contrastive Stress in Dysarthria: Pilot Results
Rupal Patel, Carrie Watkins

Recent studies on adults with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy have documented spared control of prosodic features for isolated vowel productions, question-statement pairs, and phrases produced with contrastive stress. The present study focused on listener accuracy for identifying the location of contrastive stress produced by three speakers with severe dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (DYS) and three healthy controls (HC). Speakers produced five, four-word phrases with emphasis placed on one of the four words or produced neutrally. Subsequently, 24 everyday listeners participated in a perceptual task in which they were asked to identify the locus of stress. Listener accuracy for stress identification on HC productions ranged from 96-99% and 78-97% for DYS productions. Thus even unfamiliar listeners appear to be able to make use of prosodic consistencies in DYS utterances. Acoustic analyses of misidentified tokens revealed that listeners relied on the presence of F0 cues to a greater extent than intensity and duration cues for stress identification. While this strategy was successful in accurately identifying stress in HC productions, it was not always appropriate for classifying DYS productions.

Back     Close