Production of korean idiomatic utterances following left- and right-hemisphere damage: Acoustic studies

Seung Yun Yang, Diana Van Lancker Sidtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study investigates the effects of left- and right-hemisphere damage (LHD and RHD) on the production of idiomatic or literal expressions utilizing acoustic analyses. Method: Twenty-one native speakers of Korean with LHD or RHD and in a healthy control (HC) group produced 6 ditropically ambiguous (idiomatic or literal) sentences in 2 different speech tasks: elicitation and repetition. Utterances were analyzed using durational and fundamental-frequency (F0) measures. Listeners’ goodness ratings (how well each utterance represented its category: idiomatic or literal) were correlated with acoustic measures. Results: During the elicitation tasks, the LHD group differed significantly from the HC group in durational measures. Significant differences between the RHD and HC groups were seen in F0 measures. However, for the repetition tasks, the LHD and RHD groups produced utterances comparable to the HC group’s performance. Using regression analysis, selected F0 cues were found to be significant predictors for goodness ratings by listeners. Conclusions: Using elicitation, speakers in the LHD group were deficient in producing durational cues, whereas RHD negatively affected the production of F0 cues. Performance differed for elicitation and repetition, indicating a task effect. Listeners’ goodness ratings were highly correlated with the production of certain acoustic cues. Both the acoustic and functional hypotheses of hemispheric specialization were supported for idiom production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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