Crosslinguistic application of english-centric rhythm descriptors in motor speech disorders

Julie Liss, Rene Utianski, Kaitlin Lansford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Rhythmic disturbances are a hallmark of motor speech disorders, in which the motor control deficits interfere with the outward flow of speech and by extension speech understanding. As the functions of rhythm are language-specific, breakdowns in rhythm should have language-specific consequences for communication. Objective: The goals of this paper are to (i) provide a review of the cognitive-linguistic role of rhythm in speech perception in a general sense and crosslinguistically; (ii) present new results of lexical segmentation challenges posed by different types of dysarthria in American English, and (iii) offer a framework for crosslinguistic considerations for speech rhythm disturbances in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders associated with motor speech disorders. Summary: This review presents theoretical and empirical reasons for considering speech rhythm as a critical component of communication deficits in motor speech disorders, and addresses the need for crosslinguistic research to explore language-universal versus language-specific aspects of motor speech disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Acoustic analysis
  • Dysarthria
  • Perceptual analysis
  • Speech intelligibility
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN

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