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Does the Visual Channel Improve the Perception of Consonants Produced by Speakers of French With Down Syndrome?

Alexandre Hennequin 1 Amélie Rochet-Capellan 1 Silvain Gerber 2 Marion Dohen 1
1 GIPSA-PCMD - GIPSA - Perception, Contrôle, Multimodalité et Dynamiques de la parole
GIPSA-DPC - Département Parole et Cognition, GIPSA-PPC - GIPSA Pôle Parole et Cognition
2 GIPSA-Services - GIPSA-Services
GIPSA-lab - Grenoble Images Parole Signal Automatique
Abstract : Purpose: This work evaluates whether seeing the speaker's face could improve the speech intelligibility of adults with Down syndrome (DS). This is not straightforward because DS induces a number of anatomical and motor anomalies affecting the orofacial zone. Method: A speech-in-noise perception test was used to evaluate the intelligibility of 16 consonants (Cs) produced in a vowel–consonant–vowel context (Vo = /a/) by 4 speakers with DS and 4 control speakers. Forty-eight naïve participants were asked to identify the stimuli in 3 modalities: auditory (A), visual (V), and auditory–visual (AV). The probability of correct responses was analyzed, as well as AV gain, confusions, and transmitted information as a function of modality and phonetic features. Results: The probability of correct response follows the trend AV > A > V, with smaller values for the DS than the control speakers in A and AV but not in V. This trend depended on the C: the V information particularly improved the transmission of place of articulation and to a lesser extent of manner, whereas voicing remained specifically altered in DS. Conclusions: The results suggest that the V information is intact in the speech of people with DS and improves the perception of some phonetic features in Cs in a similar way as for control speakers. This result has implications for further studies, rehabilitation protocols, and specific training of caregivers.
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Alexandre Hennequin, Amélie Rochet-Capellan, Silvain Gerber, Marion Dohen. Does the Visual Channel Improve the Perception of Consonants Produced by Speakers of French With Down Syndrome?. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2018, 61 (4), pp.957-972. ⟨10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0112⟩. ⟨hal-01784492⟩

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