Open Access

Alternative Speech Communication System for Persons with Severe Speech Disorders

  • Sid-Ahmed Selouani1Email author,
  • Mohammed Sidi Yakoub2 and
  • Douglas O'Shaughnessy2
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092009:540409

Received: 9 November 2008

Accepted: 14 April 2009

Published: 2 June 2009


Assistive speech-enabled systems are proposed to help both French and English speaking persons with various speech disorders. The proposed assistive systems use automatic speech recognition (ASR) and speech synthesis in order to enhance the quality of communication. These systems aim at improving the intelligibility of pathologic speech making it as natural as possible and close to the original voice of the speaker. The resynthesized utterances use new basic units, a new concatenating algorithm and a grafting technique to correct the poorly pronounced phonemes. The ASR responses are uttered by the new speech synthesis system in order to convey an intelligible message to listeners. Experiments involving four American speakers with severe dysarthria and two Acadian French speakers with sound substitution disorders (SSDs) are carried out to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed methods. An improvement of the Perceptual Evaluation of the Speech Quality (PESQ) value of 5% and more than 20% is achieved by the speech synthesis systems that deal with SSD and dysarthria, respectively.

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Authors’ Affiliations

LARIHS Laboratory, Université de Moncton


© Sid-Ahmed Selouani et al. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.