Phonological Pattern Frequency and Speech Production in Adults and Children Recent studies have suggested that both adults and children are sensitive to information about phonological pattern frequency; however, the influence of phonological pattern frequency on speech production has not been studied extensively. The current study examined the effect of phonological pattern frequency on the fluency and flexibility of speech production. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2001
Phonological Pattern Frequency and Speech Production in Adults and Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Benjamin Munson, PhD
    PhD, Dept. of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: Munso005@umn.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2001
Phonological Pattern Frequency and Speech Production in Adults and Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 778-792. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/061)
History: Received September 20, 2000 , Accepted March 26, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 778-792. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/061)
History: Received September 20, 2000; Accepted March 26, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 102

Recent studies have suggested that both adults and children are sensitive to information about phonological pattern frequency; however, the influence of phonological pattern frequency on speech production has not been studied extensively. The current study examined the effect of phonological pattern frequency on the fluency and flexibility of speech production. Normal- and fastrate nonsense-word repetitions of three groups of participants (preschool children, school-aged children, and adults) were analyzed. Subjective ratings of the wordlikeness of nonsense words, percentage phonemes correctly repeated, mean duration, and durational variability were measured. In the first experiment, ratings of the wordlikeness of nonsense words were found to correlate with the pattern frequency of sequences embedded in them. In the second analysis, it was found that children, but not adults, repeated infrequent sequences of phonemes less accurately than frequent sequences. In the third experiment, infrequent sequences were produced with longer durations than frequent ones, with children demonstrating a larger difference between frequent and infrequent sequences than adults. Phonological pattern frequency also influenced variability in duration: infrequent sequences of sounds were more variable than frequent ones. Thus, there appears to be an influence of phonological pattern frequency on speech, and, for some measures, a larger effect size is noted for children.

Acknowledgments
This work was a portion of the author’s dissertation research in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at The Ohio State University. This article is dedicated to the advisor of that work, Jan Edwards. Her advice, comments, and support are gratefully acknowledged, as are the comments and suggestions of Mary Beckman, Arlene Carney, Marios Fourakis, Robert A. Fox, Stefan Frisch, Joe Stemberger, and Pauline Welby. This work was funded by NIH (training grant 5 T32 DC0051 to Robert A. Fox and grant 5 R01 DC02932 to Jan Edwards), and by The Ohio State University graduate school.
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