Dysarthric Sentence Intelligibility Contribution of Iconic Gestures and Message Predictiveness Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1998
Dysarthric Sentence Intelligibility
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane Mertz Garcia
    Kansas State University Manhattan
  • Paul A. Dagenais
    University of South Alabama Mobile
  • Contact author: Jane Mertz Garcia, PhD, Communication Sciences & Disorders, School of Family Studies & Human Services, 303 Justin Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-1403. Email: jgarcia@humec.ksu.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1998
Dysarthric Sentence Intelligibility
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1282-1293. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1282
History: Received January 5, 1998 , Accepted August 24, 1998
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1282-1293. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1282
History: Received January 5, 1998; Accepted August 24, 1998
Web of Science® Times Cited: 31

This study examined changes in the sentence intelligibility scores of speakers with dysarthria in association with different signal-independent factors (contextual influences). This investigation focused on the presence or absence of iconic gestures while speaking sentences with low or high semantic predictiveness. The speakers were 4 individuals with dysarthria, who varied from one another in terms of their level of speech intelligibility impairment, gestural abilities, and overall level of motor functioning. Ninety-six inexperienced listeners (24 assigned to each speaker) orthographically transcribed 16 test sentences presented in an audio + video or audio-only format. The sentences had either low or high semantic predictiveness and were spoken by each speaker with and without the corresponding gestures. The effects of signal-independent factors (presence or absence of iconic gestures, low or high semantic predictiveness, and audio + video or audio-only presentation formats) were analyzed for individual speakers. Not all signal-independent information benefited speakers similarly. Results indicated that use of gestures and high semantic predictiveness improved sentence intelligibility for 2 speakers. The other 2 speakers benefited from high predictive messages. The audio + video presentation mode enhanced listener understanding for all speakers, although there were interactions related to specific speaking situations. Overall, the contributions of relevant signal-independent information were greater for the speakers with more severely impaired intelligibility. The results are discussed in terms of understanding the contribution of signal-independent factors to the communicative process.

The first author gratefully acknowledges dissertation committee members for their assistance, including Paul Dagenais, Stephen Hood, Frank Boutsen, Helen Southwood, and William Hamilton. Special thanks also are extended to Ann Bosma Smit, Tracy Sherman, William Gilley, Dennis Fell, and Joan Besing for their expertise at various stages of this research project.
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