Relations Between Segmental and Motor Variability in Prosodically Complex Nonword Sequences Purpose To assess how prosodic prominence and hierarchical foot structure influence segmental and articulatory aspects of speech production, specifically segmental accuracy and variability, and oral movement trajectory variability. Method Thirty individuals participated: 10 young adults, 10 children who are normally developing, and 10 children diagnosed with specific language ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2007
Relations Between Segmental and Motor Variability in Prosodically Complex Nonword Sequences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • LouAnn Gerken
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Julie Lucchesi
    Purdue University
  • Contact author: Lisa Goffman, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: goffman@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2007
Relations Between Segmental and Motor Variability in Prosodically Complex Nonword Sequences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 444-458. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/031)
History: Received August 31, 2005 , Revised January 27, 2006 , Accepted July 12, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 444-458. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/031)
History: Received August 31, 2005; Revised January 27, 2006; Accepted July 12, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 19

Purpose To assess how prosodic prominence and hierarchical foot structure influence segmental and articulatory aspects of speech production, specifically segmental accuracy and variability, and oral movement trajectory variability.

Method Thirty individuals participated: 10 young adults, 10 children who are normally developing, and 10 children diagnosed with specific language impairment. Segmental error and segmental variability and movement trajectory variability were compared in low and high prosodic prominence conditions (i.e., strong and weak syllables) and in different prosodic foot structures.

Results Between-participants findings were that both groups of children showed more segmental error and segmental variability and more movement trajectory variability than did adults. A similar within-participant pattern of results was observed for all 3 groups. Prosodic prominence influenced both segmental and motor levels of analysis, with weak syllables produced less accurately and with more lip and jaw movement trajectory variability than strong syllables. However, hierarchical foot structure affected segmental but not motor measures of speech production accuracy and variability.

Conclusions Motor and segmental variables were not consistently aligned. This pattern of results has clinical implications because inferences about motor variability may not directly follow from observations of segmental variability.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders Grant DC04826. We are grateful to Janna Berlin, Jennifer King, Bill Saxton, Amanda Seidl, and Christine Weber-Fox for invaluable assistance with many phases of this work. We extend special thanks for the unending support and encouragement provided by Melody Lucchesi throughout the course of this project.
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