The role of speaking styles in assessing intonation in foreign accent syndrome

Kuschmann, Anja and Lowit, Anja (2015) The role of speaking styles in assessing intonation in foreign accent syndrome. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17 (5). pp. 489-499. ISSN 1754-9507 (

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Purpose: This paper evaluates the role of different speaking styles in defining intonation patterns in speakers with foreign accent syndrome. The methodological investigation aimed at establishing to what extent scripted and unscripted speech influence the phonological realisation of intonation in disordered speech. Method: Four individuals with foreign accent syndrome and four gender-, age- and original dialect-matched control speakers were asked to perform a series of scripted and unscripted speech tasks including short sentences, a reading passage, a picture description and a monologue task. The speech data were analysed within the autosegmental-metrical framework of intonational analysis in relation to inventory, distribution, realisation and functional use of intonational elements. Result: Findings revealed that the unscripted speaking styles provided a more comprehensive picture of the inventory and distribution of intonation contours, whereas differences in the functional use were more prominently reflected in the scripted data sets, in particular the short sentences. Conclusion: The findings highlight that the type of speaking style influences how intonation patterns are realised in disordered as well as healthy speech. A combination of scripted as well as unscripted data is thus required to obtain a comprehensive picture of the intonation abilities of a speaker with foreign accent syndrome.