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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Acoustic and Perceptual Effects of Dysarthria in Greek with a Focus on Lexical Stress
by Papakyritsis, Ioannis, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2013, 331; 3615293
Abstract (Summary)

The field of motor speech disorders in Greek is substantially underresearched. Additionally, acoustic studies on lexical stress in dysarthria are generally very rare (Kim et al. 2010). This dissertation examined the acoustic and perceptual effects of Greek dysarthria focusing on lexical stress. Additional possibly deviant speech characteristics were acoustically analyzed. Data from three dysarthric participants and matched controls was analyzed using a case study design. The analysis of lexical stress was based on data drawn from a single word repetition task that included pairs of disyllabic words differentiated by stress location. This data was acoustically analyzed in terms of the use of the acoustic cues for Greek stress. The ability of the dysarthric participants to signal stress in single words was further assessed in a stress identification task carried out by 14 naïve Greek listeners. Overall, the acoustic and perceptual data indicated that, although all three dysarthric speakers presented with some difficulty in the patterning of stressed and unstressed syllables, each had different underlying problems that gave rise to quite distinct patterns of deviant speech characteristics. The atypical use of lexical stress cues in Anna's data obscured the prominence relations of stressed and unstressed syllables to the extent that the position of lexical stress was usually not perceptually transparent. Chris and Maria on the other hand, did not have marked difficulties signaling lexical stress location, although listeners were not 100% successful in the stress identification task. For the most part, Chris' atypical phonation patterns and Maria's very slow rate of speech did not interfere with lexical stress signaling. The acoustic analysis of the lexical stress cues was generally in agreement with the participants' performance in the stress identification task. Interestingly, in all three dysarthric participants, but more so in Anna, targets stressed on the 1st syllable were more impervious to error judgments of lexical stress location than targets stressed on the 2nd syllable, although the acoustic metrics did not always suggest a more appropriate use of lexical stress cues in 1st syllable position. The findings contribute to our limited knowledge of the speech characteristics of dysarthria across different languages.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Muller, Nicole
Commitee: Ball, Martin, Roussel, Nancye, Tetnowsky, John
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Communicative Disorders
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-B 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Speech therapy, Acoustics
Keywords: Acoustics, Dysarthria, Greek, Lexical stress
Publication Number: 3615293
ISBN: 978-1-303-81190-6
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