Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Speech Disorder Diagnosis and Classification PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which vowel metrics are capable of distinguishing healthy from dysarthric speech and among different forms of dysarthria.MethodA variety of vowel metrics were derived from spectral and temporal measurements of vowel tokens embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2014
Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Speech Disorder Diagnosis and Classification
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kaitlin L. Lansford
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Julie M. Liss
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Kaitlin L. Lansford, who is now at Florida State University: klansford@fsu.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Kris Tjaden
    Associate Editor: Kris Tjaden×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Research Article   |   February 01, 2014
Vowel Acoustics in Dysarthria: Speech Disorder Diagnosis and Classification
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 57-67. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0262)
History: Received August 29, 2012 , Revised February 1, 2013 , Accepted May 30, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 57-67. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0262)
History: Received August 29, 2012; Revised February 1, 2013; Accepted May 30, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which vowel metrics are capable of distinguishing healthy from dysarthric speech and among different forms of dysarthria.

MethodA variety of vowel metrics were derived from spectral and temporal measurements of vowel tokens embedded in phrases produced by 45 speakers with dysarthria and 12 speakers with no history of neurological disease. Via means testing and discriminant function analysis (DFA), the acoustic metrics were used to (a) detect the presence of dysarthria and (b) classify the dysarthria subtype.

ResultsSignificant differences between dysarthric and healthy control speakers were revealed for all vowel metrics. However, the results of the DFA demonstrated some metrics (particularly metrics that capture vowel distinctiveness) to be more sensitive and specific predictors of dysarthria. Only the vowel metrics that captured slope of the second formant (F2) demonstrated between-group differences across the dysarthrias. However, when subjected to DFA, these metrics proved unreliable classifiers of dysarthria subtype.

ConclusionThe results of these analyses suggest that some vowel metrics may be useful clinically for the detection of dysarthria but may not be reliable indicators of dysarthria subtype using the current dysarthria classification scheme.

Acknowledgments
This research was conducted as part of Kaitlin L. Lansford's doctoral dissertation completed at Arizona State University and was supported by grants from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01 DC006859 and 1 F31 DC 10093) and from the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Economic Affairs, the Graduate Research Support Program, and the Graduate College at Arizona State University. We gratefully acknowledge Rene Utianski, Dena Berg, Angela Davis, and Cindi Hensley for their contributions to this research.
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