Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Budapest, Hungary
September 5-9, 1999

Prosodic Phrasing and Accentuation in Speech Production of Patients with Right Hemisphere Lesions

Kai Alter, Annett Schirmer, Sonja A. Kotz, Angela D. Friederici

Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig, Germany

While the left hemispheric role in speech production has been extensively studied the role of the right hemisphere is less explored. Therefore, this paper addressed the question to what extend the right hemisphere is involved in prosodic production in an intonational language such as German. In particular, we explored the speech production of three patients with right hemisphere damage and compared these data to that of matched controls. We used a question-answer test of 48 German sentences with different verb-argument structures and varying focus positions. Healthy subjects correctly differentiated between the syntactic conditions and between the wide and narrow focused sentences by correlating prosodic parameters with cues for Intonational Phrasing as well as for accent distribution and accent types. In comparison, patients had difficulties in realizing prominence/accent distribution. Additionally, they seem to have a decreasing capacity for durational control as indicated by missing prefinal lengthening in prosodic domains.

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Bibliographic reference.  Alter, Kai / Schirmer, Annett / Kotz, Sonja A. / Friederici, Angela D. (1999): "Prosodic phrasing and accentuation in speech production of patients with right hemisphere lesions", In EUROSPEECH'99, 223-226.