Formant trajectory characteristics of males with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the formant trajectories produced by males with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative neuromuscular disease that is typically associated with dysarthria. Formant trajectories of 25 males with ALS and 15 neurologically normal geriatric males were compared for 12 words selected from the speech intelligibility task developed by Kent et al. [J. Speech. Hear. Disord. 54, 482-499 (1989)]. The results indicated that speakers with ALS (1) produced formant transitions having shallower slopes than transitions of normal speakers, (2) tended to produce exaggerations of formant trajectories at the onset of vocalic nuclei, and (3) had greater interspeaker variability of formant transition characteristics than normal speakers. Within the group of ALS speakers, those subjects who were less than 70% intelligible produced distinctly more aberrant trajectory characteristics than subjects who were more than 70% intelligible. ALS subjects who were less than 70% intelligible produced many trajectories that were essentially flat, or that had very shallow slopes. These results are discussed in terms of the speech production deficit in the dysarthria associated with ALS, and with respect to the potential influence of aberrant trajectories on speech intelligibility.

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@article{Weismer1992FormantTC, title={Formant trajectory characteristics of males with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.}, author={Gary Weismer and Rex E. Martin and Raymond D. Kent and Jane F. Kent}, journal={The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America}, year={1992}, volume={91 2}, pages={1085-98} }