Compensatory mechanisms at the phonic level: evidence from aphasia

Marczyk, A. 1, 2

1 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
2 Fundació Universitària del Bages

Devoicing errors are a hallmark characteristic of the phonetic disorder in aphasia and are traditionally attributed to an impaired coordination of laryngeal and supralaryngeal gestures, as revealed by the VOT analyses. However, while the voicing contrast is primarily cued by the presence or absence of vocal folds vibrations, secondary acoustic parameters such as relative intensity can also contribute to its perception. We hypothesized that aphasic patients with a phonetic encoding deficit and an intact phonemic selection mechanisms will compensate for their VOT difficulty by enhancing the use of secondary acoustic cues. In order to examine how one parameters compensate for another, we explored the trade-off relationships between the VOT and secondary cues using linear regression mixed model on a) on target voiced / voiceless stops and b) devoiced stops produced by 8 Spanish speaking aphasic patients. The analyses revealed differential phonic behaviour patterns according to the aphasic profile (Broca vs. conduction aphasia). The phonetic deficit in Broca?s group affected the VOT implementation and it?s interactions with secondary cues while in conduction aphasic group, the articulatory compensation associated with the VOT was preserved. These results are discussed in relation to the phonic component of speech production architectures.