Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica 64 (2012), pp. 94–102; doi: 10.1159/000336890


Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel. Used by permission.


Objective: The relations between acoustic measures and their articulatory bases have rarely been tested in dysarthria but are important for diagnostic and treatment purposes. We tested the association between acoustic measures of F2 range and F2 slope with kinematic measures of tongue movement displacement and speed in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and healthy controls speaking at normal and slow rates. Relations between acoustic and kinematic measures and speech intelligibility were examined.

Results: As healthy controls reduced their speaking rate, their F2 slopes and movement speeds decreased. In talkers with ALS, acoustic and kinematic variables were associated with changes in speaking rate, characteristic of disease progression. Participants with slow rate had shallower F2 slopes and slower movement speeds than those with normal rate. Relations between F2 range and tongue displacement were weaker. F2 slope, displacement, and duration were correlated with speech intelligibility most consistently.

Conclusion: Findings suggested that F2 slope is a useful marker for tracking disease progression in ALS. F2 slope reflects changes in tongue function with disease progression and is linked to speech intelligibility. Changes in movement speed, however, might be the earliest sign of disease in the tongue.