Perceptual-Phonetic Predictors of Single-Word Intelligibility A Study of Cantonese Dysarthria Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2000
Perceptual-Phonetic Predictors of Single-Word Intelligibility
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tara L. Whitehill
    University of Hong Kong China
  • Valter Ciocca
    University of Hong Kong China
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: tara@hku.hk
  • Contact author: Tara L. Whitehill, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong, 34 Hospital Road (5/F), Hong Kong. Email: tara@hku.hk
    Contact author: Tara L. Whitehill, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong, 34 Hospital Road (5/F), Hong Kong. Email: tara@hku.hk×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2000
Perceptual-Phonetic Predictors of Single-Word Intelligibility
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1451-1465. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1451
History: Received October 25, 1999 , Accepted March 27, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1451-1465. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1451
History: Received October 25, 1999; Accepted March 27, 2000

This study investigated the perceptual-phonetic predictors of intelligibility in Cantonese speakers with dysarthria. The speakers were 20 young adults with cerebral palsy. The listener group consisted of 12 native Cantonese speakers. A single-word intelligibility test was constructed, based on 17 phonetic contrasts. There were no significant differences in intelligibility for gender, age, or type of cerebral palsy. A regression analysis showed that intelligibility could be predicted with 97% accuracy by 5 out of the 6 most problematic contrasts. Three contrasts (glottal vs. null, final vs. null, and long vs. short vowel) predicted variation on an independent intelligibility measure obtained for the same speakers with 84% accuracy. Principal components analysis derived 4 components, which accounted for 81% of the variance in the 17 contrasts. Physiological explanations and language-specific contributions to speech disorder in this group of speakers are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research is based on a doctoral dissertation completed by the first author, under the supervision of the second author. Portions of this research were presented in poster sessions at the 1997 Conference of the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association in Nijmegen, the 1997 Conference of the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association in Boston, and the 1998 Conference on Motor Speech in Tucson. The authors would like to thank the clients, families, and agencies involved for their willingness to participate in the project. Thanks are extended to the students who served as listeners. We are grateful to Mavis Hui, Simon Chan, Esther Kwok, Vanessa Chan, Diana Ho, and May Lau for their assistance with translation, data collection, and other tasks. Grateful thanks to Raymond D. Kent and Thomas H. C. Lee for their valuable comments on the dissertation. This research was supported by grants from the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong (HKU 166/95H) and the Committee on Research and Conference Grants, University of Hong Kong (337/050/0008 and 335/050/0007).
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