Speech nasality disorders are characterized by abnormal resonance in the nasal cavity. Hypernasal speech is of particular interest, characterized by an inability to prevent improper nasalization of vowels, and poor articulation of plosive and fricative consonants, and can lead to negative communicative and social consequences. It can be associated with a range of conditions, including cleft lip or palate, velopharyngeal dysfunction (a physical or neurological defective closure of the soft palate that regulates resonance between the oral and nasal cavity), dysarthria, or hearing impairment, and can also be an early indicator of developing neurological disorders such as ALS. Hypernasality is typically scored perceptually by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). Misdiagnosis could lead to inadequate treatment plans and poor treatment outcomes for a patient. Also, for some applications, particularly screening for early neurological disorders, the use of an SLP is not practical. Hence this work demonstrates a data-driven approach to objective assessment of hypernasality, through the use of Goodness of Pronunciation features. These features capture the overall precision of articulation of speaker on a phoneme-by-phoneme basis, allowing demonstrated models to achieve a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.88 on low-nasality speakers, the population of most interest for this sort of technique. These results are comparable to milestone methods in this domain.
- Using Goodness of Pronunciation Features for Spoken Nasality Detection
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