Brief Report: Acoustic Evidence for Increased Articulatory Stability in the Speech of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Mikhail KissineEmail author
  • Philippine Geelhand
Brief Report


Subjective impressions of speech delivery in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as monotonic or over-precise are widespread but still lack robust acoustic evidence. This study provides a detailed acoustic characterization of the specificities of speech in individuals with ASD using an extensive sample of speech data, from the production of narratives and from spontaneous conversation. Syllable-level analyses (30,843 tokens in total) were performed on audio recordings from two sub-tasks of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule from 20 adults with ASD and 20 pairwise matched neuro-typical adults, providing acoustic measures of fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer and the first three formants. The results suggest that participants with ASD display a greater articulatory stability in vowel production than neuro-typical participants, both in phonation and articulatory gestures.


Autism Prosody Acoustics Voice quality F0 Formants Jitter Shimmer 



We thank the acting editor and three anonymous reviewers for very useful comments on previous versions of this paper. The present research has been made possible thanks to the F.R.S.-FNRS Research Incentive Grant F.4502.15 to Mikhail Kissine and a Foundation Jean-François Peterbroeck doctoral grant to Philippine Geelhand. This generous support is acknowledged. We thank all our participants and their families for their time and willingness to take part in our study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures in this study were approved by the ethics committee of Erasme Hospital in accordance with the 1964 declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

All adult participants provided informed consent. Adolescent participants provided informed assent with their parents providing informed consent.

Supplementary material

10803_2019_3905_MOESM1_ESM.csv (5.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (CSV 5 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ACTE at LaDisco & ULB Neuroscience InstituteUniversité libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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