Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



This study investigated the acoustic correlates of contrastive stress produced by individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to learn more about their ability to modulate acoustic cues to mark contrastive stress. Speech materials from 10 individuals with PD and 10 gender- and age-matched neurologically healthy controls (HC) were recorded and analyzed. The four acoustic measures (peak intensity, peak F0, vowel duration, and acoustic vowel space area) of stressed and unstressed syllables were compared to determine which acoustic parameters are preferentially employed by each group to mark contrastive stress. The results indicated that individuals with PD exhibited significant changes in vowel duration and intensity of stressed/unstressed words to mark contrastive stress in similar ways to their HC counterparts. Unlike the HC group, individuals with PD did not demonstrate an expanded vowel space area (VSA) or employed changes in F0 to mark contrastive stress. Findings on which abilities are better preserved in the PD population for the purposes of marking contrastive stress add to our knowledge of prosodic deficits in this dysarthric population and can aid in the planning and executing of intervention services.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Donovan, Neila