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Speech features for Mandarin speakers with Parkinson's disease (He et al., 2023)

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posted on 2023-08-25, 20:37 authored by Deling He, Lynda Feenaughty, Qin Wan

Purpose: Previous research has revealed considerable variation in speech rates among English speakers with Parkinson’s disease (PD) with slower, faster, or similar rates than controls. The purpose of this study was to characterize speech rates of Mandarin speakers with PD and the corresponding articulation and pause characteristics explaining the speech rates to enhance rate control therapies.

Method: Eighteen Mandarin speakers with PD and 18 controls produced syllable repetitions and passage reading using their typical speech style. Speech rates, articulation rates, mean pause durations (≥ 10 ms), and the number of pauses with duration between 10 ms and 300 ms and greater than 300 ms were measured and compared between groups and tasks as well as across the initial, middle, and final periods of the passage. Two-way, mixed-model analyses of variance were employed for data analysis.

Results: Compared to controls, individuals with PD spoke with similar speech rates and faster articulation rates during passage reading, whereas during syllable repetitions, they produced slower speech rates and comparable articulation rates. The slower syllable repetitions produced by speakers with PD may be explained by longer pauses and more perceptual pauses, whereas faster articulation rates may explain the trend of faster speech rates during reading. Speech and articulation rates accelerated for both groups during passage reading.

Conclusions: Speech rates of Mandarin speakers with PD were characterized by faster articulation, longer pauses, and more perceptual pauses for passage reading. A descriptive model of speech rate suggested that speakers with PD and dysarthria in this study would benefit from rate reduction therapy decreasing articulation rate.

Supplemental Material S1. Phonetically balanced passage used for passage reading.

He, D., Feenaughty, L., & Wan, Q. (2023). Global acoustic speech temporal characteristics for Mandarin speakers with Parkinson’s disease during syllable repetition and passage reading. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 32(5), 2232–2244.


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