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Niebuhr O.,University of Kiel | Meunier C.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory
Phonetica | Year: 2011

While assimilation was initially regarded as a categorical replacement of phonemes or phonological features, subsequent detailed phonetic analyses showed that assimilation actually generates a wide spectrum of intermediate forms in terms of speech timing and spectrum. However, the focus of these analyses predominantly remained on the assimilated speech sound. In the present study we go one step ahead in two ways. First, we look at acoustic phonetic detail that differs in the French vowels /i, a, u/ preceding single /s/ and /∫/ sibilants as well as /s#∫/ and /∫#s/ sibilant sequences. Second, our vowel measurements include not only F1 and F2 frequencies, but also traditional prosodic parameters like duration, intensity and voice quality. The vowels and sibilants were recorded as the central part of CVC#CVC pseudo-names in a contextualized read-speech paradigm. In the single-sibilant conditions we found that the vowels preceding /∫/ were longer, breathier, less intense, and had more cardinal F2 values than before /s/. For the /s#∫/ and /∫#s/ conditions we found regressive and progressive /s/-to-[∫] assimilation that was complete in terms of spectral centre-of-gravity measurements, although French is said to have only voice assimilation. Moreover, the vowels preceding the /s#∫/ sequences still bear an imprint of /s/ despite the assimilation towards [∫∫]. We discuss the implications of these findings for the time window and the completeness of assimilation as well as for the basic units in speech communication. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Letanneux A.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory | Danna J.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory | Velay J.-L.,Aix - Marseille University | Viallet F.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory | Pinto S.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory
Movement Disorders | Year: 2014

Micrographia, an abnormal reduction in writing size, is a specific behavioral deficit associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). In recent years, the availability of graphic tablets has made it possible to study micrographia in unprecedented detail. Consequently, a growing number of studies show that PD patients also exhibit impaired handwriting kinematics. Is micrographia still the most characteristic feature of PD-related handwriting deficits? To answer this question, we identified studies that investigated handwriting in PD, either with conventional pencil-and-paper measures or with graphic tablets, and we reported their findings on key spatiotemporal and kinematic variables. We found that kinematic variables (velocity, fluency) differentiate better between control participants and PD patients, and between off- and on-treatment PD patients, than the traditional measure of static writing size. Although reduced writing size is an important feature of PD handwriting, the deficit is not restricted to micrographia stricto sensu. Therefore, we propose the term PD dysgraphia, which encompasses all deficits characteristic of Parkinsonian handwriting. We conclude that the computerized analysis of handwriting movements is a simple and useful tool that can contribute to both diagnosis and follow-up of PD. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. Source

Koustanai A.,INRETS | Van Elslande P.,INRETS | Bastien C.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour | Year: 2012

Drivers have to focus their attention on a danger to become aware of it. Change blindness paradigms are therefore relevant to studying the ability to detect danger. However, research has not yet focused on the role of two essential factors in guiding drivers' attention: driving experience and the specific needs for performing a manoeuvre. Based on a previous analysis of real accident situations, we used a one-shot paradigm with static scenes to test observers' ability to detect various changes as a function of their driving experience, the manoeuvre envisaged and the environmental context. The results showed that change detection depends greatly on driving experience when planning to cross a junction or to turn left, while it depends more on the environmental setting and task complexity when seeking a direction. The results were not conclusive, however, in explaining how drivers failed to notice that the vehicle ahead of them was turning when they considered an overtaking manoeuvre. We discuss the contributions of our research in relation to the possibilities of using change blindness as a measurement tool in studies on automobile driving. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Moreau C.,University of Lille Nord de France | Pennel-Ployart O.,University of Lille Nord de France | Pinto S.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory | Plachez A.,University of Lille Nord de France | And 5 more authors.
Movement Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: Parkinsonian dysarthria (as typically characterized by hypophonia, monotony of pitch, and rhythm abnormalities) is often accompanied by gait disturbances. The long-term effect of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN DBS) on dysarthria remains unclear. Methods: Given STN DBS's known improvement of gait disorders, we analyzed speech intelligibility and aerodynamic and acoustic parameters in 11 advanced PD patients in three double-blind, randomized conditions: "defined Off," 60 Hz STN DBS and 130 Hz STN DBS. Results: An improvement in aerodynamic speech parameters during 60 Hz STN DBS was accompanied by significant clinical benefit. Conclusions: Chronic treatment with low-frequency STN DBS may have a beneficial impact on dysarthropneumophonia, even in advanced PD patients. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society. Source

Bertrand R.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory | Priego-Valverde B.,CNRS Speech and Language Laboratory
Pragmatics and Cognition | Year: 2011

In this paper we use Conversation Analysis (CA) to investigate conversational humor in talk-in-interaction. We attempt to better understand how the latter is produced and co-constructed by participants in accounting for the devices used by participants in their sequential environment. The framework of CA enables us to take into account the various means available to speakers to communicate, orient to the others, etc. From our data, reported speech, confirmation request/ answer, and repetitions appear as the main discursive devices to create humor (presented as the result of the appearance of the incongruity). We focused on prosodic cues that are strongly involved in these devices and then contribute to the humorous tonality of the talk. Finally, the co-construction of conversational humor is mainly described through the notion of orientation and prosodic orientation. © John Benjamins Publishing Company. Source

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