Relationship between acoustic measures and judgments of intelligibility in Parkinson's disease: A within-speaker approach


This study investigated the acoustic basis of within-speaker, across-utterance variation in sentence intelligibility for 12 speakers with dysarthria secondary to Parkinson's disease (PD). Acoustic measures were also obtained for 12 healthy controls for comparison to speakers with PD. Speakers read sentences using their typical speech style. Acoustic measures of speech rate, articulatory rate, fundamental frequency, sound pressure level and F2 interquartile range (F2 IQR) were obtained. A group of listeners judged sentence intelligibility using a computerized visual-analog scale. Relationships between judgments of intelligibility and acoustic measures were determined for individual speakers with PD. Relationships among acoustic measures were also quantified. Although considerable variability was noted, articulatory rate, fundamental frequency and F2 IQR were most frequently associated with within-speaker variation in sentence intelligibility. Results suggest that diversity among speakers with PD should be considered when interpreting results from group analyses.

Publication Title

Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics