A Cross-Language Study of Acoustic Predictors of Speech Intelligibility in Individuals With Parkinson's Disease Purpose The present study aimed to compare acoustic models of speech intelligibility in individuals with the same disease (Parkinson's disease [PD]) and presumably similar underlying neuropathologies but with different native languages (American English [AE] and Korean). Method A total of 48 speakers from the 4 speaker groups (AE ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 18, 2017
A Cross-Language Study of Acoustic Predictors of Speech Intelligibility in Individuals With Parkinson's Disease
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yunjung Kim
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
  • Yaelin Choi
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Myongji University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Correspondence to Yunjung Kim: ykim6@lsu.edu
  • 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. ×
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Megan McAuliffe
    Associate Editor: Megan McAuliffe×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 18, 2017
A Cross-Language Study of Acoustic Predictors of Speech Intelligibility in Individuals With Parkinson's Disease
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2506-2518. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0121
History: Received March 28, 2016 , Revised September 13, 2016 , Accepted April 21, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2506-2518. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0121
History: Received March 28, 2016; Revised September 13, 2016; Accepted April 21, 2017

Purpose The present study aimed to compare acoustic models of speech intelligibility in individuals with the same disease (Parkinson's disease [PD]) and presumably similar underlying neuropathologies but with different native languages (American English [AE] and Korean).

Method A total of 48 speakers from the 4 speaker groups (AE speakers with PD, Korean speakers with PD, healthy English speakers, and healthy Korean speakers) were asked to read a paragraph in their native languages. Four acoustic variables were analyzed: acoustic vowel space, voice onset time contrast scores, normalized pairwise variability index, and articulation rate. Speech intelligibility scores were obtained from scaled estimates of sentences extracted from the paragraph.

Results The findings indicated that the multiple regression models of speech intelligibility were different in Korean and AE, even with the same set of predictor variables and with speakers matched on speech intelligibility across languages. Analysis of the descriptive data for the acoustic variables showed the expected compression of the vowel space in speakers with PD in both languages, lower normalized pairwise variability index scores in Korean compared with AE, and no differences within or across language in articulation rate.

Conclusions The results indicate that the basis of an intelligibility deficit in dysarthria is likely to depend on the native language of the speaker and listener. Additional research is required to explore other potential predictor variables, as well as additional language comparisons to pursue cross-linguistic considerations in classification and diagnosis of dysarthria types.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant NIDCD012405, awarded to Yunjung Kim. Part of the results were presented at the Conference on Motor Speech in 2014 (Sarasota, FL). The authors thank Julie Liss for her valuable comments on our previous manuscript.
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