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Cortex. 1985 Sep;21(3):405-15.

Analysis of prosody in the spontaneous speech of patients with CV-recurring utterances.


We report a study on 9 patients with global aphasia whose language production was restricted to chains of one and the same recurring CV syllable. Length of utterance was determined by the number of syllables between two pauses and major length types were used for pitch analysis. By means of a tonetic method the pitch level of syllables was transcribed so that pitch variations could be established. Our findings contradicted the clinical impression that these patients can convey communicative intentions by means of a variety of fluently produced intonation contours. Even though all patients had a considerable inventory of length types they predominantly used only one or two of them. Pitch types were found to be similarly stereotypical. As an explanation for the fluently produced CV utterances with stereotypical length and pitch, the assumption of iterative motor mechanisms underlying CV speech production was rejected in favour of preserved automatic speech processing and abolished controlled processing.

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