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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Commun Sci Disord. 2012;17(2): 234-248.
A Preliminary Study of the Automated Assessment of Prosody in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
YoungAe Kang` , KyuChul Yoon` , CheolJae Seong` , and HyunYoung Park`
Copyright ©2012 The Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
강영애(YoungAe Kang)| 윤규철(KyuChul Yoon)| 성철재(CheolJae Seong)| 박현영(HyunYoung Park)
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ABSTRACT

Background & Objectives
Despite extensive studies of patients with aprosodic symptoms, no clinical tools have been developed that can help speech-language pathologists make objective and consistent diagnoses with ease for all of the prosodic aspects free of cost. The purpose of this study is to develop and verify an automated diagnostic prosody assessment program for patients with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
Methods
The program was developed in the form of a set of Praat scripts that control the overall diagnostic procedure. The core part of the scripts was built from the eleven parameters of prosody related to the pitch, loudness, and duration. The experimental group was composed of ten patients with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease after pharmacological intervention and the control group was composed of twenty healthy people. Both groups recorded two sentences three times. One was a declarative sentence and the other was an interrogative sentence. The recordings were analyzed using the assessment program and a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted.
Results
For both sentences, the loudness-related parameters were differed significantly between the groups and the minimum loudness, pitch-related parameters, and pitch-slope parameter of the interrogative sentence differed between genders. Especially in the interrogative sentence, the value of pitch slope in the male patient group was negative, which indicates that the pitch of the end of the sentence is lower than that of the front during total utterance. The values of loudness and pitch were higher in the normal group than in the patient group. The value of loudness in the male group and the pitch in the female group were higher, which is in agreement with the difference of the fundamental frequency between genders.
Discussion & Conclusion
The existing program is convenient to use in the clinic setting, because it works automatically for various stages of the process including the recording stage, the perceptual judgment stage, and the analysis of prosody. It does not have any working problem and the parameters for prosody in the program are reliable and valid. The program does, however, need the addition of pause analysis.
Keywords: 파킨슨병 | 운율장애 | 자동화 분석 | 운율변수 | Parkinson’s disease | prosodic disorder | automatical assessment
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Hayang-Ro 13-13, Hayang-Eup, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongbuk 38430, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-502-196-1996   Fax: +82-53-359-6780   E-mail: kjcd@kasa1986.or.kr

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