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October 2021

Effect of sentence length on the production of linguistic stress by left- and right-hemisphere-damaged patients

Author(s): Gandour, J.

Journal/Book: Brain Lang. 1999; 67: 525 B St, Ste 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495, USA. Academic Press Inc. 73-94.

Abstract: An acoustical/perceptual study of phonemic stress (e.g., HOTdog vs, hot DOG) was conducted to evaluate the effect of sentence length on stress production after brain damage. Productions of phonemic stress pairs were elicited in sentence contexts of increasing length from eight left-hemisphere-damaged nonfluent (LHD-NFL), fluent LHD-FL), right-hemisphere-damaged (RHD), and normal speakers (n = 32). Tape recordings of subjects' productions were presented to naive listeners for perceptual identification of stress placement. Acoustic analysis focused on fundamental frequency, duration, and intensity of the initial and final syllables as well as pause duration between syllables. Perceptual tests indicated that regardless of sentence length, all brain-damaged groups exhibited an impairment in the production of linguistic stress when compared to normals. The LHD-NFL group experienced the greatest difficulty in signaling stress contrasts, followed in order by the LHD-FL and RHD groups. In medium-length sentences, the LHD-R. Group's performance was degraded by comparison to short-length sentences. Acoustic analysis showed that pause duration was the strongest predictor of phonemic stress for all groups. Acoustic profiles of the RHD group were similar qualitatively to those of normals, but differed quantitatively in terms of magnitude of effect associated with shifts in stress patterns. Findings are brought to bear on the nature of the stress production deficit after unilateral brain damage, the role of the right hemisphere in linguistic prosody, and the concept of ''subtle phonetic deficit'' in fluent aphasia.

Note: Article Gandour J, Purdue Univ, Dept Audiol & Speech Sci, Heavilon Hall, W Lafayette,IN 47907 USA


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