Cognitive skills and prominence production : highlighting prominent elements in the speech of patients with Parkinson's disease

Thies, Tabea and Muecke, Doris and Lowit, Anja and Kalbe, Elke and Steffen, Julia and Barbe, Michael (2019) Cognitive skills and prominence production : highlighting prominent elements in the speech of patients with Parkinson's disease. In: Hanyang International Symposium on Phonetics and Cognitive Sciences of Language 2019, 2019-05-24 - 2019-05-25.

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    Abstract

    Patients with idiopathic parkinsonism suffer from a neurodegenerative disorder of the nervous system. Due to a progressive loss of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) develop problems with motor and non-motor functions. On the motor level the dysfunctions defect the voluntary movements and lead to symptoms like: rigidity, resting tremor and bradykinesia [1]. On the level of cognition PD patients have problems with the executive functions, cognitive flexibility, working memory and control of attention [2]. Furthermore, the speech system gets affected which often leads to dysarthric speech. This hypokinetic dysarthria impacts the phonation, articulation and the respiratory system. The speech deficits include monoloudness, monopitch, reduced stress, imprecise articulation, variability of speech rate, disfluencies and voice tremor [3, 4, 5].PD affects communication as well as other related functions such as cognition, but complex prosodic aspects such as focus marking are less well studied. Prominence marking in German requires changes in intonation and articulation [6]. Speakers use multiple cues in the phonetic domain to regulate prosodic marking [7], e.g. modulation of F0 and syllable duration. Furthermore, there is insufficient literature on the impact of cognition on these phonetic aspects of prominence marking. The aim of this study is to analyse how prosodic prominence correlates with motoric and cognitive abilities in patients with Parkinson’s disease in the complex process of speech production.