The Breadth of Coarticulatory Units in Children and Adults Purpose To assess, in children and adults, the breadth of coarticulatory movements associated with a single rounded vowel. Method Upper and lower lip movements were recorded from 8 young adults and 8 children (aged 4–5 years). A single rounded versus unrounded vowel was embedded in the medial position ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2008
The Breadth of Coarticulatory Units in Children and Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Lori Heisler
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Michael Ho
    Boston University
  • Contact author: Lisa Goffman, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: goffman@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2008
The Breadth of Coarticulatory Units in Children and Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1424-1437. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0020)
History: Received January 25, 2007 , Revised July 18, 2007 , Accepted March 19, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1424-1437. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0020)
History: Received January 25, 2007; Revised July 18, 2007; Accepted March 19, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose To assess, in children and adults, the breadth of coarticulatory movements associated with a single rounded vowel.

Method Upper and lower lip movements were recorded from 8 young adults and 8 children (aged 4–5 years). A single rounded versus unrounded vowel was embedded in the medial position of pairs of 7-word/7-syllable sentences.

Results Both children and adults produced movement trajectories associated with lip rounding that were very broad temporally (i.e., movement duration lasting 45% to 56% of the sentence). Some effects appeared to extend across the entire utterance. There were no differences between children and adults in the extent of the coarticulatory effect. However, children produced relatively variable movements associated with lip rounding.

Conclusions These data support the hypothesis that, for young children and adults, broad chunks of output have been planned by the onset of implementation of a sentence. This implies that, based on a change in a single phoneme, the motor commands to the muscles are altered for the production of the entire sentence.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants DC02527 and DC04826. We thank Alex Francis and Bill Saxton for their assistance with this project.
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