Article  |   August 2010
Intonation Contrast in Cantonese Speakers With Hypokinetic Dysarthria Associated With Parkinson’s Disease
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joan K.-Y. Ma
    Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
  • Tara L. Whitehill
    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong-SAR-China
  • Susanne Y.-S. So
    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong-SAR-China
  • Contact author: Joan K.-Y. Ma, who is now with the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh EH21 6UU, United Kingdom. E-mail: jma@qmu.ac.uk.
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   August 2010
Intonation Contrast in Cantonese Speakers With Hypokinetic Dysarthria Associated With Parkinson’s Disease
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 2010, Vol.53, 836-849. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0216)
History: Accepted 26 Oct 2009 , Received 20 Oct 2008 , Revised 10 Jun 2009
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 2010, Vol.53, 836-849. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0216)
History: Accepted 26 Oct 2009 , Received 20 Oct 2008 , Revised 10 Jun 2009

Purpose: Speech produced by individuals with hypokinetic dysarthria associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by a number of features including impaired speech prosody. The purpose of this study was to investigate intonation contrasts produced by this group of speakers.

Method: Speech materials with a question–statement contrast were collected from 14 Cantonese speakers with PD. Twenty listeners then classified the productions as either questions or statements. Acoustic analyses of F0, duration, and intensity were conducted to determine which acoustic cues distinguished the production of questions from statements, and which cues appeared to be exploited by listeners in identifying intonational contrasts.

Results: The results show that listeners identified statements with a high degree of accuracy, but the accuracy of question identification ranged from 0.56% to 96% across the 14 speakers. The speakers with PD used similar acoustic cues as nondysarthric Cantonese speakers to mark the question–statement contrast, although the contrasts were not observed in all speakers. Listeners mainly used F0 cues at the final syllable for intonation identification.

Conclusion: These data contribute to the researchers' understanding of intonation marking in speakers with PD, with specific application to the production and perception of intonation in a lexical tone language.

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