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Acoustic characteristics of dysarthria associated with cerebellar disease.

Journal of speech and hearing research

Aged, Cerebellar Diseases, physiopathology, Cerebellum, Dysarthria, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Speech, Speech Acoustics, Speech Disorders

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      The speech of five individuals with cerebellar disease and ataxic dysarthria was studied with acoustic analyses of CVC words, words of varying syllabic structure (stem, stem plus suffix, stem plus two suffixes), simple sentences, the Rainbow Passage, and conversation. The most consistent and marked abnormalities observed in spectrograms were alterations of the normal timing pattern, with prolongation of a variety of segments and a tendency toward equalized syllable durations. Vowel formant structure in the CVC words was judged to be essentially normal except for transitional segments. The greater the severity of the dysarthria, the greater the number of segments lengthened and the degree of lengthening of individual segments. The ataxic subjects were inconsistent in durational adjustments of the stem syllable as the number of syllables in a word was varied and generally made smaller reductions than normal subjects as suffixes were added. Disturbances of syllable timing frequently were accompanied by abnormal contours of fundamental frequency, particularly monotone and syllable-falling patterns. These dysprosodic aspects of ataxic dysarthria are discussed in relation to cerebellar function in motor control.

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