Pausing and sentence stress in children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy

Kuschmann, Anja and Lowit, Anja (2020) Pausing and sentence stress in children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 73. pp. 298-307. ISSN 1021-7762 (

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Introduction: Children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy (CP) can experience problems manipulating intensity, fundamental frequency and duration to signal sentence stress in an utterance. Pauses have been identified as a potential additional cue for stress marking, which could compensate for this deficit. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether children use pauses to signal stress placement, and whether this differs between typically-developing children and those with CP. Methods: Six children with CP and eight typically developing children produced utterances with stress on target words in two different positions. Pauses before and after the stressed target words were analyzed in terms of number, location and duration. Results: Results showed that both groups inserted pauses into their utterances. However, neither group used pause location or duration in a systematic manner to signal the position of stressed words. Conclusions: The results suggest that pausing was not used strategically by either group to signal sentence stress. Further research is necessary to explore the value of pausing as a cue to stress marking in general and as a potential compensatory strategy for speakers with dysarthria.