Influences of Utterance Length and Complexity on Speech Motor Performance in Children and Adults The possible influences of utterance length and complexity on speech motor performance were examined by assessing the effects of increased processing demands on articulatory movement stability. Eight 5-year-old children and 8 young adults repeated a 6-syllable phrase in isolation (baseline condition) and embedded in sentences of low and high syntactic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2000
Influences of Utterance Length and Complexity on Speech Motor Performance in Children and Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kimberly Jones Maner
    Purdue University West Lafeyette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University West Lafeyette, IN
  • Liane Grayson
    Purdue University West Lafeyette, IN
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: asmith@purdue.edu
  • Contact author: Anne Smith, PhD, Purdue University, Department of Audiology, 1353 Heavilon Hall, West Layayette, IN 47907. Email: asmith@purdue.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2000
Influences of Utterance Length and Complexity on Speech Motor Performance in Children and Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2000, Vol. 43, 560-573. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4302.560
History: Received December 22, 1998 , Accepted August 19, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2000, Vol. 43, 560-573. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4302.560
History: Received December 22, 1998; Accepted August 19, 1999

The possible influences of utterance length and complexity on speech motor performance were examined by assessing the effects of increased processing demands on articulatory movement stability. Eight 5-year-old children and 8 young adults repeated a 6-syllable phrase in isolation (baseline condition) and embedded in sentences of low and high syntactic complexity. Lower lip movements for the target phrase were analyzed to produce the spatiotemporal index (STI), an index that reflects the stability of lip movement over 10 repetitions of the phrase. It was predicted that movement stability would be lower (reflected by higher values of the STI) for the phrase when it was spoken embedded in complex sentences and that, compared to adults, children’s movement output would be more negatively affected by increased processing demands. The STI was significantly increased for the phrase spoken in the complex sentences compared to the baseline condition, and STIs of the children were consistently higher than those of the adults across conditions. These findings provide novel evidence that speech motor planning, execution, or both are affected by processes often considered to be relatively remote from the motor output stage.

Acknowledgments
This experiment was completed as a master’s thesis by the first author. We are grateful to Lisa Goffman and Laurence Leonard for their help in designing this experiment. We also acknowledge the insightful comments of the three reviewers. This work was supported by Grants DC00559 and DC02527 from The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders.
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