Effects of Lexical Meaning and Practiced Productions on Coarticulation in Children’s and Adults’ Speech This investigation examined the effect of familiarity with a speech target on the magnitude of the coarticulation observed in children (aged 3, 5, and 7 years) and adults. For the purposes of this investigation, coarticulation was defined as the effect that a following vowel, /i/ or /u/, had on the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1995
Effects of Lexical Meaning and Practiced Productions on Coarticulation in Children’s and Adults’ Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathleen A. Siren
    Loyola College in Maryland Baltimore
  • Kim A. Wilcox
    University of Kansas Lawrence
  • Contact author: Kathleen A. Siren, PhD, Department of Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology, Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210–2699. E-mail: siren@ loyola.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1995
Effects of Lexical Meaning and Practiced Productions on Coarticulation in Children’s and Adults’ Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1995, Vol. 38, 351-359. doi:10.1044/jshr.3802.351
History: Received April 8, 1994 , Accepted November 7, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1995, Vol. 38, 351-359. doi:10.1044/jshr.3802.351
History: Received April 8, 1994; Accepted November 7, 1994

This investigation examined the effect of familiarity with a speech target on the magnitude of the coarticulation observed in children (aged 3, 5, and 7 years) and adults. For the purposes of this investigation, coarticulation was defined as the effect that a following vowel, /i/ or /u/, had on the frequency value of the second formant (F2) in the preceding fricative, /s/ or /∫/. Familiarity with the spoken targets was examined through the manipulation of two factors: (a) the presence or absence of lexical meaning and (b) the extent to which speakers were allowed to practice an item prior to recording. Results of acoustic measurements confirm that the children exhibited a greater effect of a following vowel on the preceding fricative when compared to adults. Nonmeaningful production items appeared to exhibit a greater effect of the vowel on the preceding fricative than meaningful production items, regardless of age of the individual. Limited motor practice did not have an effect on degree of fricative-vowel coarticulation in production items for any of the age groups. For the productions in this investigation, the primary coarticulatory effect was intrasyllabic.

Acknowledgments
This work was initially supported by a Doctoral Training Grant (USDE #H029D90046) awarded to the first author through the Bureau of Child Research at the University of Kansas. Additional data analysis was conducted while the first author was supported by St. John’s University in New York. The authors would like to thank Mabel Rice, Hugh Catts, Diane Frame Loeb, and Cliff Pye for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. We would also like to thank Denise Russo and Tim Brackenbury who participated in different stages of data collection and analysis. The comments of Michael Studdert-Kennedy, James Hillenbrand, Susan Nittrouer, Bruce Smith, and an anonymous reviewer contributed greatly to the final version of this paper.
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