Browsing by Subject "phonetics"

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  • Wiklund, Mari; Ihaksinen, Kia; Vainio, Martti (2021)
    Autism spectrum disorder is a neurobiological developmental disorder, characterized e.g. by problems of social interaction, over-sensitity to sensory stimuli as well as restricted interests (APA, 2013). People afflicted with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have deviant prosodic features in their speech. This article focuses on the utterance-final rising pitch and its use in questions and narrative turns in the spontaneous interaction of boys with ASD. The topic is important because even if autistic persons’ prosodic features have already been studied rather extensively, spontaneous interaction, which allows observing the use of intonation by persons with ASD, has been studied very little before. The data originate from authentic group therapy sessions where 11–13-year-old boys afflicted with ASD talk with their therapists. Methods of phonetics and conversation analysis are used in the study. The results of the study suggest that boys with ASD are able to use utterance-final rising pitch as an interactional resource as well as to produce and interpret correctly prosodic features that indicate finality in spontaneous interaction. They are also able to emphasize words with the help of prosodic features, call for other participants’ reactions and indicate that they take other participants into account with the help of utterance-final pitch rises. Thus, boys with ASD seem to be able to use intonation as an interactional resource, even though reciprocal interaction is generally speaking difficult for people afflicted with autism (APA, 2013).
  • Keturi, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The subject of the thesis is the comparison of lexical semantics and phonetics. The thesis investigates with computational methods if there is significantly more phonetic variance in words that belong to the same semantic domains than with phonetically similar words from other semantic domains. In other words, phonetically very similar words and especially phonological minimal pairs would be in separate semantic domains. The method clusters word embedding vectors and distinctive phonological feature vectors from multiple languages, and the phonetic and semantic standard deviations are calculated for each cluster, and the mean standard deviations of cluster sets are compared. In addition to semantic and phonetic clusters, two test clusters are constructed which have the same number and the same size of clusters as the semantic clusters. The first test clusters use the words from phonetic clusters in order and the second test clusters are randomly permuted. These different cluster sets are compared by their mean standard deviations and cluster set similarity index. The results imply that words on the same semantic domains contain rarely phonetically very similar words, and those words are usually in separate semantic domains.
  • Wiklund, Satu Mari-Anna; Vainio, Martti Tapani (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019)
    It is known that persons afflicted with autism often have deviant prosodic features in their speech. For example, they may have a limited range of intonation, their speech can be overly fast, jerky or loud, or it can be characterized by large pitch excursions, quiet voice, inconsistent pause structure, prominent word stress and/or by creaky or nasal voice (Paul et al. 2005a; Paul et al. 2005b; Shriberg et al. 2001; Provonost et al. 1966; Rutter & Lockyer 1967; Ornitz & Ritvo 1976; Fay & Schuler 1980; Tager-Flusberg 1981; Baltaxe & Simmons 1985, 1992; Paul 1987; McPartland & Klin 2006; Tager-Flusberg 2000). Moreover, it has been shown that people afflicted with autism have difficulties to produce affective prosodic patterns (Scott 1985). Fine et al. (1991) have however reported that autistic subjects are able to employ useful prosodic patterns for communication. Producing appropriate stress patterns can nevertheless be difficult for them (Paul et al. 2005a, Paul et al. 2005b). Shriberg et al. (2001) report that persons with autism have notable deficits in pragmatic and affective use of prosody, but they do not have difficulties with the grammatical functions of prosody. Deviant prosodic features of speech do not, however, concern every individual afflicted with autism (Simmons & Baltaxe 1975; Paul et al. 2005b). Nevertheless, when these features occur, they constitute a significant obstacle to the social acceptance of the individual (Paul et al. 2005a: 205). Indeed, deviant prosodic features may create an immediate impression of “oddness” (VanBourgondien & Woods 1992), and they affect autistic speakers’ ratings of social and communicative competence (Paul et al. 2005b). The aim of this paper is to present different salient prosodic features occurring in slightly autistic preadolescents’ speech. The data come from authentic group therapy sessions where 11–13-year-old Finnish-speaking boys (N = 7) and French-speaking boys (N = 4) speak with each other and with their two therapists. The paper will focus on the following features: large pitch excursions, bouncing pitch, flat pitch, jerky rhythm, slow speech rate and fast speech rate. Some of these features occur only in Finnish or in French, whereas some others can be found in both languages. It is also interesting that some of them occur all the time in the speech of an individual, whereas some others occur only in certain types of contexts. The analyses have been carried out using methods of phonetics.