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Aichert, Ingrid; Lehner, Katharina ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5071-8112; Falk, Simone; Späth, Mona and Ziegler, Wolfram ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5760-1232 (2019): Do Patients With Neurogenic Speech Sound Impairments Benefit From Auditory Priming With a Regular Metrical Pattern? In: Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, Vol. 62, No. 8: pp. 3104-3118

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Purpose: Earlier investigations based on word and sentence repetition tasks had revealed that the most prevalent metrical pattern in German (the trochee)-unlike the iambic pattern- facilitates articulation in patients with apraxia of speech (AOS;e.g., Aichert, Spath, & Ziegler, 2016), confirming that segmental and prosodic aspects of speech production interact. In this study, we investigated if articulation in apraxic speakers also benefits from auditory priming by speech with a regular rhythm. Furthermore, we asked if the advantage of regular speech rhythm, if present, is confined to impairments at the motor planning stage of speech production (i.e., AOS) or if it also applies to phonological encoding impairments. Method: Twelve patients with AOS, 12 aphasic patients with postlexical phonological impairment (PI), and 36 neurologically healthy speakers were examined. A sequential synchronization paradigm based on a sentence completion task was conducted in conditions where we independently varied the metrical regularity of the prime sentence (regular vs. irregular prime sentence) and the metrical regularity of the target word (trochaic vs. iambic). Results: Our data confirmed the facilitating effect of regular (trochaic) word stress on speech accuracy in patients with AOS (target effect). This effect could, for the first time, also be demonstrated in individuals with PI. Moreover, the study also revealed an influence of the metrical regularity of speech input in both patient groups (prime effect). Conclusions: Patients with AOS and patients with PI exploited rhythmic cues in the speech of a model speaker for the initiation and the segmental realization of words. There seems to be a robust metrical influence on speech at both the phonological and the phonetic planning stages of speech production.

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