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Pilot study of the acoustic values of the vowels in Spanish as indicators of the severity of dysarthria
INTRODUCTION. The acoustic analysis is a tool that provides objective data on changes of speech in dysarthria.
AIM. To evaluate, in the ataxic dysarthria, the relationship between the vowel space area (VSA), the formant centralization ratio (FCR) and the mean of the primary distances with the speech intelligibility.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. A sample of fourteen Spanish speakers, ten with dysarthria and four controls, was used. The values of first and second formants in 140 vowels extracted of 140 words were analyzed. To calculate the level of intelligibility seven listeners were involved and a task of identification verbal stimuli was used.
RESULTS. The dysarthric subjects have less contrast between middle and high vowels and between back vowels. Significant differences in the VSA, FCR and mean of the primary distances compared to control subjects (p = 0.007, 0.005 and 0.030, respectively) are observed. Regression analysis show the relationship between VSA and the mean of primary distances with the level of speech intelligibility (r = 0.60 and 0.74, respectively).