A1 Journal article – refereed
Effects of transitory lingual nerve impairment on speech: an acoustic study of sibilant sound /s/.




List of Authors: M. Niemi, J.-P. Laaksonen, S. Ojala, O. Aaltonen, R.-P. Happonen
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2006
Journal: International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Volume number: 35
Number of pages: 4

Abstract

By measuring spectral characteristics of the sibilant /s/ this study investigated whether the reduced orosensory feedback caused by lingual nerve impairment affects the acoustics and articulation of sibilants. A further goal was to examine speakers' capability to compensate for the deviant control of the delicate movements required for the proper production of /s/ by experimentally modifying the function of the tongue in a way that reduces the necessary somatosensory information in articulation. Five healthy men with no speech, language or hearing abnormalities were enrolled. They produced the sibilant /s/ in a variety of phonetic contexts in two sessions: first in normal conditions and then with local anaesthesia of the right lingual nerve. From the speech samples, the spectral characteristics of the sibilant sound (i.e. the centre of gravity, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis) were analysed acoustically. The results showed that the reduced tactile sensation has effects on the tongue function resulting in individual and variable spectral alterations. The variation between different speakers indicates individual ability to compensate for the effects caused by the sensory dysfunction of the tongue. It seems, therefore, that the compensatory mechanisms for speech production are highly speaker-dependent.


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