Perception of Formant Transition Cues to Place of Articulation in Children With Language Impairments Discrimination and phonetic identification abilities of 5- to 6-year-old children with language impairments were compared to those of 4-year-olds with normally developing language and to previous findings from 5- to 6-year-olds and adults for synthetic stimuli ranging from [ba] to da]. Results showed similar discrimination sensitivity to the second- and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1993
Perception of Formant Transition Cues to Place of Articulation in Children With Language Impairments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joan E. Sussman
    State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Contact author: Joan E. Sussman, Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, 122 Park Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260.
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1993
Perception of Formant Transition Cues to Place of Articulation in Children With Language Impairments
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1993, Vol. 36, 1286-1299. doi:10.1044/jshr.3606.1286
History: Received November 16, 1992 , Accepted June 2, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1993, Vol. 36, 1286-1299. doi:10.1044/jshr.3606.1286
History: Received November 16, 1992; Accepted June 2, 1993

Discrimination and phonetic identification abilities of 5- to 6-year-old children with language impairments were compared to those of 4-year-olds with normally developing language and to previous findings from 5- to 6-year-olds and adults for synthetic stimuli ranging from [ba] to da]. Results showed similar discrimination sensitivity to the second- and third-formant transition cues of stimuli by all children, with poorest sensitivity by the youngest. Phonetic categorization by children with language impairments was most different from the groups with normal language abilities, evidenced by a difference in the percent of tokens labeled as "BA" and by greater variability in labeling and in placement of phonetic category boundaries. Results support hypotheses by Gathercole and Baddeley (1990) suggesting that the phonological component of working memory may be disordered in children with language impairments. Results are also suggestive of specific difficulties with left-hemisphere processing associated with language learning rather than with problems related to sensitivity to formant transitions of the speech tokens.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by Biomedical Research Support Grant BRSGSORR07066 from the National Institutes of Health and by a Research Development Grant from the Research Foundation at the University at Buffalo. The data reported from Sussman (1993b)  were gathered with support from National Science Foundation grant BNS9010114. Parts of the current report were presented at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in November 1990 at Seattle, Washington. Appreciation is extended to all the subjects and their parents; BOCES teachers— especially Jill Hume, the speech-language pathologist—and administrators; Sandra Simpson, Elaine Beyer. Extra thanks go to Sally Cornish and Sandra Lane for help in data collection. Finally, the thoughtful comments and suggestions by H. Sussman, two anonymous reviewers, and the editor, Ariene E. Carney, were greatly appreciated.
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