Laryngeal Factors in Voiceless Consonant Production in Men, Women, and 5-Year-Olds Voicing control in stop consonants has often been measured by means of voice onset time (VOT) and discussed in terms of interarticulator timing. However, control of voicing also involves details of laryngeal setting and management of sub- and supraglottal pressure levels, and many of these factors are known to undergo ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2000
Laryngeal Factors in Voiceless Consonant Production in Men, Women, and 5-Year-Olds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura L. Koenig
    Haskins Laboratories New Haven, CT
  • Contact author: Laura L. Koenig, Haskins Laboratories, 270 Crown Street, New Haven, CT, 06511. Email: koenig@haskins.yale.edu.
    Contact author: Laura L. Koenig, Haskins Laboratories, 270 Crown Street, New Haven, CT, 06511. Email: koenig@haskins.yale.edu.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: koenig@haskins.yale.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2000
Laryngeal Factors in Voiceless Consonant Production in Men, Women, and 5-Year-Olds
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2000, Vol. 43, 1211-1228. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4305.1211
History: Received June 24, 1999 , Accepted February 16, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2000, Vol. 43, 1211-1228. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4305.1211
History: Received June 24, 1999; Accepted February 16, 2000

Voicing control in stop consonants has often been measured by means of voice onset time (VOT) and discussed in terms of interarticulator timing. However, control of voicing also involves details of laryngeal setting and management of sub- and supraglottal pressure levels, and many of these factors are known to undergo developmental change. Mechanical and aerodynamic conditions at the glottis may therefore vary considerably in normal populations as functions of age and/or sex. The current study collected oral airflow, intraoral pressure, and acoustic signals from normal English-speaking adults and children producing stop consonants and /h/ embedded in a short carrier utterance. Measures were made of stop VOTs, /h/ voicing and flow characteristics, and subglottal pressure during /p/ closures. Clear age and gender effects were observed for /h/: Fully voiced /h/ was most common in men, and /h/ voicing and flow data showed the highest variability among the 5-year-olds. For individual participants, distributional measures of VOT in /p t/ were correlated with distributional measures of voicing in /h/. The data indicate that one cannot assume comparable laryngeal conditions across speaker groups. This, in turn, implies that VOT acquisition in children cannot be interpreted purely in terms of developing interarticulator timing control, but must also reflect growing mastery over voicing itself. Further, differences in laryngeal structure and aerodynamic quantities may require men and women to adopt somewhat different strategies for achieving distinctive consonantal voicing contrasts.

Acknowledgments
The work reported here was supported by NIH Grants DC-00865 and DC-00121 to Haskins Laboratories and formed a portion of a doctoral thesis submitted to the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center. I would like to thank my committee members, Katherine S. Harris, Anders Lofqvist, and Richard G. Schwartz, and my outside reader, Elaine T. Stathopoulos, for their comments and advice. Thanks also to Richard S. McGowan for his input during early phases of this work; to Len Katz and Einar Mencl for advice on statistical treatments; to Alice Faber and Melanie Campbell for assistance recording the child participants; to Sylvia Yudicé Walters for evaluating the children's recordings; to Leigh Lisker, Arthur Abramson, and Vince Gracco for consultation on a variety of theoretical and technical issues; to my participants and the parents of my child participants; and to three anonymous reviewers and Jorge C. Lucero for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. The /h/ voicing and flow data were presented at the 132nd meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (third joint meeting with the Acoustical Society of Japan), December 1996, Honolulu, HI. The developmental arguments were presented at the First International Conference on Voice Physiology and Biomechanics, May-June 1997, Evanston, IL.
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