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Acoustic kinematic vowel space and normalization (Kuo & Berry, 2023)

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posted on 2023-04-28, 02:09 authored by Christina Kuo, Jeffrey Berry

Purpose: Few studies have reported on the vowel space area (VSA) in both acoustic and kinematic domains. This study examined acoustic and kinematic VSAs for speakers with and without dysarthria and evaluated effects of normalization on acoustic and kinematic VSAs and the relationship between these measures.

Method: Vowel data from 12 speakers with and without dysarthria, presenting with a range of speech abilities, were examined. The speakers included four speakers with Parkinson’s disease (PD), four speakers with brain injury (BI), and four neurotypical (NT) speakers. Speech acoustic and kinematic data were acquired simultaneously using electromagnetic articulography during a passage reading task. Raw and normalized VSAs calculated from corner vowels /i/, /æ/, /ɑ/, and /u/ were evaluated. Normalization was achieved through z score transformations to the acoustic and kinematic data. The effect of normalization on variability within and across groups was evaluated. Regression analysis was used across speakers to assess the association between acoustic and kinematic VSAs for both raw and normalized data.

Results: When evaluating the speakers as three different groups (i.e., PD, BI, and NT), normalization reduced the standard deviations within each group and changed the relative differences in average magnitude between groups. Regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between normalized, but not raw, acoustic and kinematic VSAs, after the exclusion of an outlier speaker.

Conclusions: Normalization reduces the variability across speakers, within groups, and changes average magnitudes affecting speaker group comparisons. Normalization also influences the correlation between acoustic and kinematic measures. Further investigation of the impact of normalization techniques upon acoustic and kinematic measures is warranted.

Supplemental Material S1. Supplementary information on methodology.

Kuo, C., & Berry, J. (2023). The relationship between acoustic and kinematic vowel space areas with and without normalization for speakers with and without dysarthria. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 2022 Conference on Motor Speech.


A portion of this work was supported by a James Madison University College of Health and Behavioral Studies Faculty Research Grant awarded to the first author (Christina Kuo) and a 4-VA Collaborative Research Grant awarded to the first author (Christina Kuo) in collaboration with Matthew Barrett (Department of Neurology, University of Virginia). Portions of this work were supported by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Century Scholars Grant and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R15 DC017296-01 awarded to the second author (Jeffrey Berry).