Acoustic analysis of fricatives in dysarthric speakers with cerebral palsy

  • Hernandez, Abner (Department of Linguistics, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Ho-young (Department of Linguistics, Seoul National University) ;
  • Chung, Minhwa (Department of Linguistics, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2019.08.12
  • Accepted : 2019.09.21
  • Published : 2019.09.30


This study acoustically examines the quality of fricatives produced by ten dysarthric speakers with cerebral palsy. Previous similar studies tend to focus only on sibilants, but to obtain a better understanding of how dysarthria affects fricatives we selected a range of samples with different places of articulation and voicing. The Universal Access (UA) Speech database was used to select thirteen words beginning with one of the English fricatives (/f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ð/). The following four measurements were taken for both dysarthric and healthy speakers: phoneme duration, mean spectral peak, variance and skewness. Results show that even speakers with mild dysarthria have significantly longer fricatives and a lower mean spectral peak than healthy speakers. Furthermore, mean spectral peak and variance showed significant group effects for both healthy and dysarthric speakers. Mean spectral peak and variance was also useful for discriminating several places of articulation for both groups. Lastly, spectral measurements displayed important group differences when taking severity into account. These findings show that in general there is a degradation in the production of fricatives for dysarthric speakers, but difference will depend on the severity of dysarthria along with the type of measurement taken.



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