Consonant-Vowel Interdependencies in Babbling and Early Words: Preliminary Examination of a Locus Equation Approach Consonant-vowel productions at two distinct stages of language development were studied in a single female child. At 12 months canonical babbling syllables (N = 144) identified by a panel of listeners as comprising [bV], [dv], and [gv] tokens were acoustically analyzed by measuring F2 transition onset and F2 midvowel frequencies ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1996
Consonant-Vowel Interdependencies in Babbling and Early Words: Preliminary Examination of a Locus Equation Approach
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Harvey M. Sussman
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Fred D. Minifie
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Eugene H. Buder
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Carol Stoel-Gammon
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Jason Smith
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Harvey M. Sussman, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin. TX 78712.
    Contact author: Harvey M. Sussman, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin. TX 78712.×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1996
Consonant-Vowel Interdependencies in Babbling and Early Words: Preliminary Examination of a Locus Equation Approach
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 424-433. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.424
History: Received January 20, 1995 , Accepted August 31, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1996, Vol. 39, 424-433. doi:10.1044/jshr.3902.424
History: Received January 20, 1995; Accepted August 31, 1995

Consonant-vowel productions at two distinct stages of language development were studied in a single female child. At 12 months canonical babbling syllables (N = 144) identified by a panel of listeners as comprising [bV], [dv], and [gv] tokens were acoustically analyzed by measuring F2 transition onset and F2 midvowel frequencies and plotting their relationship as locus equations for each stop category. A regression analysis performed on these scatterplots revealed differential slopes and y-intercepts as a function of stop place. The same analysis was performed 9 months later on CV utterances (N = 243) produced as syllable-initial segments of real words by the same child. Whereas labial and velar locus equation parameters moved toward more adult-like values, alveolar slope and y-intercept moved away from adult values and more in the direction of decreased coarticulation between vowel and consonant. There was greater scatter of data points around the regression line for production of words compared to babbling. These results are compared to locus equations obtained from 3–5-year-olds and adults. Locus equations appear to be useful as an empirical developmental probe to document how CV productions gradually approach adult categorical standards.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this work were funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (Grants R01 DC02014-01A1 to the first author and 5 T32 DC00033-04 to the University of Washington) and by the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington. The authors would like to acknowledge the constructive comments of Megan Hodge and an anonymous reviewer.
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