Speaking rate effects on articulatory pattern consistency in talkers with mild ALS
Mefferd, Antje S.; Pattee, Gary; Green, Jordan R. 2014. Speaking rate effects on articulatory pattern consistency in talkers with mild ALS. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, vol. 28:no. 11:pp 799-811
This study investigated speaking rate effects on articulatory pattern consistency in talkers with mild amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to better understand speech rate declines during the early stages of speech deterioration. Eight talkers with mild ALS and 11 controls repeated a sentence at their typical rate, an accelerated rate, and a reduced rate. Lip and jaw movements were captured using a 3-D motion capture system. Results showed that talkers with ALS produced more consistent articulatory patterns during typical speech than did controls. Further, rate reduction resulted in diminished pattern consistency in both groups. Fast speech also elicited less consistent articulatory patterns in talkers with ALS. Controls, by contrast, tended to produce more consistent patterns during fast speech. Relatively inconsistent patterns during fast speech suggest that ALS may negatively affect articulatory control when the speech motor system operates near its performance limit. Relatively consistent patterns during typical speech indicate a successful adaption to disease-related articulatory deficits. Rate reduction does not appear to benefit articulatory stability during early stages of speech decline.