7th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

September 16-20, 2002
Denver, Colorado, USA

How Speakers with and without Speech Impairment Mark the Question Statement Contrast

Rupal Patel

Teachers College Columbia University, USA

We sought to better understand how normal speakers signal the yesno question-statement contrast and whether speakers with severe speech impairment could signal the contrast and how they would do so. We asked a group of eight speakers with severe dysarthria to produce ten, three-syllable phrases in an interrogative tone and in a declarative tone. We asked a group of gender matched normal speakers to perform the same task. We then performed a set of acoustic analyses to identify, which features speakers used, and how these features differed between speaker groups. Our findings indicate that both sets of speakers use multiple prosodic cues to signal the question statement contrast of which F0 is only one cue. Other cues include loudness and syllable duration. We also found that speakers with dysarthria often exaggerated salient prosodic cues and occasionally used alternative cues over which they had more precise control.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Patel, Rupal (2002): "How speakers with and without speech impairment mark the question statement contrast", In ICSLP-2002, 969-972.