Duration of the rhotic approximant /ô/ in spastic dysarthria of different severity levels

Krishna Gurugubelli, Anil Vuppala, Narendra Nonavinakere Prabhakera, Paavo Alku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder leading to imprecise articulation of speech. Acoustic analysis capable of detecting and assessing articulation errors is use-ful in dysarthria diagnosis and therapy. Since speakers with dysarthria expe-rience difficulty in producing rhotics due to complex articulatory gestures of these sounds, the hypothesis of the present study is that duration of the rhotic approximant /ô/ distinguishes dysarthric speech of different severity levels. Du-ration measurements were conducted using the third formant (F3) trajectories estimated from quasi-closed-phase (QCP) spectrograms. Results indicate that the severity level of spastic dysarthria has a significant effect on duration of /ô/. In addition, the phonetic context has a significant effect on duration of /ô/, the I-r-E context showing the largest difference in /ô/ duration between dysarthric speech of the highest severity levels and healthy speech. The results of this preliminary study can be used in the future to develop signal processing and machine learning methods to automatically predict the severity level of spastic dysarthria from speech signals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalSpeech Communication
Volume125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Rhotic approximant
  • Dysarthria
  • Quasi-closed-phase analysis

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