Aim: To analyze the effect of utterance length on the intelligibility of words produced by dysarthric speakers. Methods: A total of 10 adult speakers with dysarthria (5 men and 5 women; mean age 58.8 years, SD 14.1) took part in the study. Six speakers exhibited mild-to-moderate impairment, while 4 had severe-to-extreme impairment, according to scores on the single-words subtest of the Protocol for the Evaluation of Speech Intelligibility in Dysarthrias (PESI). The speakers were recorded producing, by repetition, a list of 25 sentences from the sentence subtest of the PESI plus a list of 25 separate words taken from the same sentence list. The speech samples were sound recorded and subsequently transcribed by 40 listeners. Intelligibility scores were calculated according to the percentage of target words correctly transcribed in each list of stimuli. Results: The intelligibility scores for the target words produced in sentences were lower than the scores obtained by utterance of single words (z = –2.82; p < 0.01). This difference was not consistently due to dysarthria severity. Conclusion: The results of the present study support the hypothesis that utterance length can negatively influence speech intelligibility in people with dysarthria.

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