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Rhythmic characteristics in aging: A study on Zurich German


Pellegrino, Elisa; He, Lei; Giroud, Natalie; Meyer, Martin; Dellwo, Volker (2017). Rhythmic characteristics in aging: A study on Zurich German. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141(5):3747.

Abstract

Age-related changes in speech production influence both speech segmental and suprasegmental characteristics. Previous research focussed on changes in voice quality, vowel formant patterns, f0 and speech rate due to aging but only little attention has been paid on speech rhythm (durational and dynamic). In this study we analyzed the segmental durational variability as well as the syllabic intensity variability between 60 Zurich German speakers ranging in age between 20 and 81 years. Speakers read 90 sentences in Zurich German. Between-speaker durational variability across age was quantified through a variety of different rhythmic variables (%V, ΔCLn, ΔVLn, rPVI-C, nPVI-V, %VO, varcoVO, nPVI-VO, ΔPeak, varcoPeak, and nPVI-Peak). Intensity variability was computed by taking the standard deviations, variation coefficients and PVIs of average syllable intensity and syllable peak intensity values across sentences. Results based on durational measurements show that with aging there is an increase in %V and r-PVI-C. Aged voices also present lower variability in the consonantal and especially in the vocalic intervals (nPVI-V and ΔVLn). We argue that changes in the physical characteristics as well as in the neural control mechanisms of the articulators might play a significant role in age-related rhythmic changes.

Abstract

Age-related changes in speech production influence both speech segmental and suprasegmental characteristics. Previous research focussed on changes in voice quality, vowel formant patterns, f0 and speech rate due to aging but only little attention has been paid on speech rhythm (durational and dynamic). In this study we analyzed the segmental durational variability as well as the syllabic intensity variability between 60 Zurich German speakers ranging in age between 20 and 81 years. Speakers read 90 sentences in Zurich German. Between-speaker durational variability across age was quantified through a variety of different rhythmic variables (%V, ΔCLn, ΔVLn, rPVI-C, nPVI-V, %VO, varcoVO, nPVI-VO, ΔPeak, varcoPeak, and nPVI-Peak). Intensity variability was computed by taking the standard deviations, variation coefficients and PVIs of average syllable intensity and syllable peak intensity values across sentences. Results based on durational measurements show that with aging there is an increase in %V and r-PVI-C. Aged voices also present lower variability in the consonantal and especially in the vocalic intervals (nPVI-V and ΔVLn). We argue that changes in the physical characteristics as well as in the neural control mechanisms of the articulators might play a significant role in age-related rhythmic changes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Computational Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:28 Aug 2017 11:10
Last Modified:28 Aug 2017 11:10
Publisher:American Institute of Physics
ISSN:0001-4966
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4988256

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