Abstract Subjective judgments of 16 speech dimensions were used to rate the speech of 22 Friedreich's ataxics. The study attempted to determine what groupings of speech dimensions describe the ataxic speech and if the subjects could be grouped by their speech symptoms. The results indicated that two speech factors were present, a general dysarthric factor and a phonatory stenosis factor. Subject groupings revealed three groups, the first characterized by a general dysarthria without vocal stenosis, the second characterized by phonatory stenosis and mild general dysarthric symptoms, and the third characterized by mild symptoms on both speech factors. Evidence was presented to show that more than one pattern of dysarthria could occur in one family.