Fundamental Frequency Onset and Offset Behavior A Comparative Study of Children and Adults Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2002
Fundamental Frequency Onset and Offset Behavior
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael P. Robb, PhD
    Department of Communication Sciences University of Connecticut Storrs
  • Allan B. Smith
    Department of Communication Sciences University of Connecticut Storrs
  • Contact author: Michael P. Robb, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences, University of Connecticut, 850 Bolton Road, Storrs, CT 06269.
    Contact author: Michael P. Robb, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences, University of Connecticut, 850 Bolton Road, Storrs, CT 06269.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: mrobb@uconn.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2002
Fundamental Frequency Onset and Offset Behavior
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2002, Vol. 45, 446-456. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/035)
History: Received June 18, 2001 , Accepted January 30, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2002, Vol. 45, 446-456. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/035)
History: Received June 18, 2001; Accepted January 30, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

Short-term changes in vowel fundamental frequency (F0) immediately preceding (F0 offset) and following (F0 onset) production of voiceless obstruents were examined in groups of 4-year-olds, 8-year-olds, and 21-year-olds. Definitive patterns of laryngeal behavior were observed for each measure. F0 was found to significantly lower at vowel offset across age groups, with no significant differences noted between groups, suggesting that F0 offset is simply an acoustic consequence of producing a voiceless obstruent preceded by a vowel. The F0 at vowel onset was high and significantly decreased thereafter. Age-related differences were identified for F0 onset with 4-year-olds in that their F0 rose to a lesser degree than that of adults. However, adult females demonstrated a greater change in both F0 onset and F0 offset behavior than adult males and children, suggesting that age-related differences in F0 behavior are likely to be influenced by sex. The results are discussed with regard to the physiologic constraints of F0 surrounding voiceless obstruent production in children and adults.

Acknowledgments
We wish to acknowledge Dr. Julia Selby, who assisted with the reliability measurements. Thanks also to Dr. Emily Lin, who provided valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper. We would also like to sincerely thank the students and teachers at Palmer Schools who agreed to take part in this project.
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