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Sentence stress in ataxic dysarthria : a perceptual and acoustic study

Lowit, Anja and Kuschmann, A. and MacLeod, J.M and Schaeffler, F. and Mennen, I. (2010) Sentence stress in ataxic dysarthria : a perceptual and acoustic study. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, 18 (4). pp. 77-82. ISSN 1065-1438

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This study examined how speakers with ataxic dysarthria produce sentence stress and how these findings relate to other measures of speech performance. Ten speakers with ataxia and ten control speakers performed maximum performance, sentence stress, and passage reading tasks. Perceptual analyses established intelligibility levels and accuracy of stress production. Acoustic analyses included F-0, intensity, and duration measures for sentence stress targets and MPTs, as well as acoustic rhythm measures for the sentence and passage reading tasks. Results showed that 60% of speakers experienced problems in signalling sentence stress irrespective of the severity of their dysarthria. Intensity and duration were most impaired, with F-0 and pause insertion being used as compensatory strategies. The results highlighted the need for a detailed examination of speaker abilities in a variety of tasks in order to inform selection of the most effective treatment strategies.