Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-24-2015


Special Education & Communication Disorders


This study investigated the acoustic basis of across-utterance, within-speaker variation in speech naturalness for four speakers with dysarthria secondary to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Speakers read sentences and produced spontaneous speech. Acoustic measures of fundamental frequency, phrase-final syllable lengthening, intensity and speech rate were obtained. A group of listeners judged speech naturalness using a nine-point Likert scale. Relationships between judgements of speech naturalness and acoustic measures were determined for individual speakers with PD. Relationships among acoustic measures also were quantified. Despite variability between speakers, measures of mean F0, intensity range, articulation rate, average syllable duration, duration of final syllables, vocalic nucleus length of final unstressed syllables and pitch accent of final syllables emerged as possible acoustic variables contributing to within-speaker variations in speech naturalness. Results suggest that acoustic measures correlate with speech naturalness, but in dysarthric speech they depend on the speaker due to the within-speaker variation in speech impairment.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics on 9/24/15, available online: