The effect of levodopa on vowel articulation in Parkinson's disease: a cross-linguistic study

Jidde Jacobi, Teja Rebernik, Roel Jonkers (Contributor), Michael Proctor (Contributor), Ben Maassen (Contributor), Martijn Wieling (Contributor)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that is characterized by a decay in global motor performance, manifest in tremor, abnormal gait, and dysarthria. PD dysarthria characteristics include monoloudness, pathological voice quality, and imprecise articulation. Standard treatment for relieving PD symptoms is the drug levodopa, but it is currently unknown how it affects speech. We investigated the effect of levodopa on the vowel space of 4 Dutch and 6 Slovenian PD participants. They recorded their speech on twenty occasions distributed over four days across 2-4 weeks. First and second formants of corner vowels [i-a-u] produced in isolated words were measured at acoustic midpoints of 4043 tokens. A vowel articulation index (VAI), a metric of vowel space dispersion,
    was calculated for each speaker. VAI was not significantly affected by levodopa in either language, which may indicate that the motor control underlying vowel articulation is not as sensitive to levodopa as other motor symptoms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
    Subtitle of host publicationICPhS2019
    EditorsSasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabain, Paul Warren
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association (ASSTA)
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)9780646800691
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventInternational Congress of Phonetic Sciences (19th : 2019) - Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 5 Aug 20199 Aug 2019


    ConferenceInternational Congress of Phonetic Sciences (19th : 2019)
    Abbreviated titleICPhS2019


    • Parkinson's disease
    • vowel production
    • levodopa
    • dysarthria
    • vowel acoustics


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