Influence of Verbal and Nonverbal Contexts on the Sentence Intelligibility of a Speaker With Dysarthria The influence of verbal and nonverbal contextual factors on intelligibility was examined using sentences produced under varying conditions by a speaker with severe flaccid dysarthria. Contextual factors included (a) concurrent production of communication gestures, (b) predictiveness of message content, (c) relatedness of sentences to specific situational contexts, and (d) prior ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1996
Influence of Verbal and Nonverbal Contexts on the Sentence Intelligibility of a Speaker With Dysarthria
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane Mertz Garcia
    University of South Alabama Mobile
  • Michael P. Cannito
    The University of Memphis Memphis, TN
  • Contact author: Jane Mertz Garcia, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Kansas State University, 303 Justin Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-1403.
    Contact author: Jane Mertz Garcia, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Kansas State University, 303 Justin Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-1403.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1996
Influence of Verbal and Nonverbal Contexts on the Sentence Intelligibility of a Speaker With Dysarthria
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 750-760. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.750
History: Received May 30, 1995 , Accepted February 9, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 750-760. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.750
History: Received May 30, 1995; Accepted February 9, 1996

The influence of verbal and nonverbal contextual factors on intelligibility was examined using sentences produced under varying conditions by a speaker with severe flaccid dysarthria. Contextual factors included (a) concurrent production of communication gestures, (b) predictiveness of message content, (c) relatedness of sentences to specific situational contexts, and (d) prior familiarization with the speaker. Sentences produced by the speaker were audio- and video-recorded and presented to 96 listeners/viewers who were assigned to three different methods of presentation of the stimuli: (a) audio + video, (b) audio-only, or (c) video-only conditions. Results indicated that gestures, predictiveness, and context influenced intelligibility; however, complex interactions were observed among these factors and methods of presentation of the stimuli. Results were interpreted in light of Lindblom's "mutuality model," indicating that when signal fidelity is poor, as in the present speaker with dysarthria, differing combinations of signal-independent information may be employed to enhance listener understanding of spoken messages.

Acknowledgments
Special thanks are expressed to Patrick Rappold, Paul Dagenais, Charles Brown, and Stephen Hood of the University of South Alabama for their advice at various steges of this research as well as editorial suggestions. Portions of this paper were presented at the ASHA Conventions in Anaheim, 1993, and New Orleans, 1994, and also at the Conference on Motor Speech in Sedona, Arizona, 1994.
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