A web-based platform for cross-linguistic research in dysarthric speech

Project: Research project

Description

Abstract: By our estimation 93% of people with dysarthria worldwide, or 43 million people, either do not speak English or are bi- or multi-lingual. However, the consequences of dysarthria on communicative function in languages other than English are virtually unknown. This is because our mechanisms for describing and treating dysarthria are English-language centricthat is, based on the rhythm and phonology of the English language. However, the differing rhythm patterns and speech sounds of other languages make it patently clear that dysarthria in other languages (e.g., Spanish) will result in very different production consequences for people with dysarthria, and very different perceptual challenges for their communicative partners. While that is the case, there has been no systematic research on the consequences of motor speech disorders across languages and there is no mechanism to describe, or address, dysarthria in languages other than English. This presents a significant health-care issue here in the US, in which over 500,000 of the estimated three million people with dysarthria are either bilingual, or non-English speakers. We can address this issue. The overall goal of this proposal is to build, and make freely available, a cross-linguistic audio-visual database of dysarthric speech. The database will be comprised of speech samples from people with dysarthria who speak English and/or Spanish and all data will be tagged with biographical characteristics, time-aligned orthographic transcription, and quantified acoustic data related to patterns of speech degradation in rhythm patterns, articulatory integrity, and intelligibility acoustic metrics. This database will be easy to search, and data will be easy to export. Our international collaboration is uniquely placed to make this happen. We have existing infrastructure and resources that can be leveraged to build the database; we have developed a working model through which to explore cross-linguistic communication function in dysarthria; we have developed and tested battery of automated acoustic metrics that capture aspects of speech rhythm, articulatory integrity, and source and filter characteristics; and we will develop a universal speech stimuli template from which to study communication function cross-linguistically. This proposal brings these components together, and serves as the foundation for a subsequent R01 proposal aimed at hypothesis driven investigations of dysarthria, language, and communicative function in English and Spanish. The development of this research platform offers the opportunity for rapid advances in scientific knowledge, which can be directly translated to clinical practice.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/1512/31/18

Funding

  • HHS: National Institutes of Health (NIH): $358,631.00

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Linguistics
Acoustics
Communication
Transcription
Health care
Acoustic waves
Degradation