The relationship between production of suprasegmental speech

characteristics and lung volumes in conversational speech

By K. Bunton


The present study was designed to look at the relationship between the use of lung volumes and the production of suprasegmental speech characteristics in conversational speech for healthy speakers and those with Parkinson disease.  Acoustic measures included, F0 and intensity variability, breath group duration, and number of syllables.  Measures of lung volumes at the initiation and termination of speech for each breath group were also obtained using noninvasive methods to measure chest wall surface motions.  Results indicate a tendency for control speakers to alternate a longer breath group followed by a shorter breath group.  Corresponding starting lung volumes are higher for the longer breath groups and F0 and intensity variability was exaggerated compared to shorter breath groups.  This long/short-alternating pattern was also seen in the PD group, however, the PD group tended to initiate speech at lower starting lung volumes and continue past resting expiratory level.  In addition, their breath groups were shorter in duration and F0 and intensity variability were limited.  Breath groups also ended at agrammatical boundaries for the PD speakers.