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Book: The Phonetics of Dysarthria

Chapter: 16. Discussion of Conversational Speech Study

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.41380


The aim of the study reported in this section of the book was to look at the manifestation of dysarthria secondary to MS in naturally occurring conversational speech. More specifically, to look at the acoustic-phonetic characteristics of repair sequences; those occurrences in natural conversation associated with misunderstanding. It is hoped that the results provide information about the modifications made by dysarthric speakers in order to enhance their speech intelligibility and inform theories of speech motor control in normal and disordered populations. The methodology adopted was interactional phonetics. This was in order to facilitate the analysis of repair in spontaneous, conversational speech. It is here, we have suggested, that the symptoms of speech disorders like dysarthria are most likely to present (Leuschel & Docherty, 1996; Rosen, Kent, Delaney, & Duffy, 2006; Tjaden & Walting, 2003). Interactional phonetics is more commonly used for the analysis of conversations without the involvement of communication difficulties (see Couper-Kuhlen, 2007; Couper-Kuhlen & Ford, 2004; Curl, 2004; Local, 1992; Ogden, 2001) but with some history of applications to disordered speech production (Auer & Rönfeldt, 2004; Local and Wootton, 1995; Tarplee & Barrow, 1999). It is an approach that encourages the use of spontaneous conversation as a data source. It also recognizes the role of very fine phonetic detail in conveying meaning in conversation. In carrying out the joint analysis of the sequential organization of talk and the phonetic design of participant contributions, the consequences of acoustic variation to interaction can be discovered. In this chapter we summarize these results, discuss the implications of the work, and reflect on the use of interactional phonetics.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ioannis Papakyritsis ( - ipapakyritisis) 'University of Patras'
  • Marie Klopfenstein ( - maklopf) 'Southern Illinois University Edwardsville'
  • Ben Rutter ( - brutter) 'University of Sheffield'