Dysarthria in traumatic brain injury: A breath group and intonational analysis

Yu Tsai Wang, Ray D. Kent, Joseph R. Duffy, Jack E. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Prosodic abnormality is a common feature in the dysarthrias associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but very few analytic studies have been reported on the nature of the prosodic disturbances. This study, based on analyses of conversational and sentence speech samples, reports on breath group structure and its temporal and intonational components for 12 subjects with TBI and 8 healthy controls. It introduces the method of f0 close-copy stylization to the study of intonational patterns in dysarthria. The subjects with TBI had reduced mean length and variation of breath groups along with frequent inappropriate locations of breath pause and lengthy and variable breath pauses. Prosodic features that were preserved in the subjects with TBI were phrase final lengthening, f0 down-trend and a relatively normal f0 distribution. However, these subjects had reduced speaking and articulation rates, reduced f0 movement and reduced f0 slope. The phrase final lengthening and f0 downtrend phenomena, which can serve as prosodic cues of syntactic boundary, appear to be robust features of speech production, but the dynamic features of f0 control were more vulnerable to the neurological damage. This study indicates the importance of breath group management in TBI-induced dysarthria and the need to use methods such as those used in this study for large-scale investigations that examine cognitive, linguistic and motoric factors that conspire to reduce communicative efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-89
Number of pages31
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Breath groups
  • Dysarthria
  • Dysprosody
  • Intonation
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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