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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 268-272

Dysarthric Bengali speech: A neurolinguistic study

1 Department of Linguistics, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India
2 Department of Neuromedicine, Bangur Institute of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Kolkata, India
3 Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
A Hazra
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.43510

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Background and Aims: Dysarthria affects linguistic domains such as respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance and prosody due to upper motor neuron, lower motor neuron, cerebellar or extrapyramidal tract lesions. Although Bengali is one of the major languages globally, dysarthric Bengali speech has not been subjected to neurolinguistic analysis. We attempted such an analysis with the goal of identifying the speech defects in native Bengali speakers in various types of dysarthria encountered in neurological disorders. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted with 66 dysarthric subjects, predominantly middle-aged males, attending the Neuromedicine OPD of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Kolkata. Materials and Methods: After neurological examination, an instrument comprising commonly used Bengali words and a text block covering all Bengali vowels and consonants were used to carry out perceptual analysis of dysarthric speech. From recorded speech, 24 parameters pertaining to five linguistic domains were assessed. The Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance, Chi-square test and Fisher's exact test were used for analysis. Results: The dysarthria types were spastic (15 subjects), flaccid (10), mixed (12), hypokinetic (12), hyperkinetic (9) and ataxic (8). Of the 24 parameters assessed, 15 were found to occur in one or more types with a prevalence of at least 25%. Imprecise consonant was the most frequently occurring defect in most dysarthrias. The spectrum of defects in each type was identified. Some parameters were capable of distinguishing between types. Conclusions: This perceptual analysis has defined linguistic defects likely to be encountered in dysarthric Bengali speech in neurological disorders. The speech distortion can be described and distinguished by a limited number of parameters. This may be of importance to the speech therapist and neurologist in planning rehabilitation and further management.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow