This study explores the perceived atypicality of the prosody of persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The data consist of speech samples produced by 11- to 13-year-old Finnish-speaking boys with ASD (n = 5), and by age- and gender-matched controls (n = 6). The speech samples have been collected from spontaneous speech. A perception test was administered to 50 neurotypical university students (n = 50). The results show that neurotypical adults find the prosody of preadolescent boys with ASD more atypical than the prosody of age- and gender-matched controls. According to the acoustic analyses and the written answers of the raters, the perceptions of atypicality may be generated by sing-song-like or bouncing pitch, disconnected speech rhythm, large pitch excursions or flatness of pitch. The impression of atypicality is further emphasized if there are occurrences of morpho-syntactic problems (such as wrong case endings and disconnected syntactic structures), if some words are unintelligible and if articulation is lethargic, for example. A creaky voice, which was common in the speech samples, did not attract the attention of the raters. The speech of the informants with ASD was frequently thought to have been produced by a non-native speaker of Finnish, although all the informants were monolingual speakers of the language. The raters also found it difficult to understand what the informants with ASD were saying in the speech samples. The results of this study have clinical implications in terms of increasing awareness of prosodic deficiencies among Finnish-speaking preadolescents with ASD.
Bidragets översatta titelPerceived Atypicality of Speech Prosody of Finnish-Speaking Preadolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
TidskriftPuhe ja Kieli
Sidor (från-till)309–330
Antal sidor22
StatusPublicerad - 2022
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 6121 Språkvetenskaper
  • 515 Psykologi

Citera det här