Metrical Effects on Speech Movements in Children and Adults The present study investigates motor processes underlying the production of iambic and trochaic metrical forms for children and adults. Lower lip movement was recorded while 16 children between the ages of 3;10 and 4;9 (years; months) and 8 adults produced iambic (e.g., [рǝ′рΛр]) and trochaic (e.g., [′рΛрǝр]) nonce words. For ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 1999
Metrical Effects on Speech Movements in Children and Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Caren Malin
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Lisa Goffman, Audiology & Speech Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
    Contact author: Lisa Goffman, Audiology & Speech Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.×
  • Corresponding author: Email: goffman@purdue.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 1999
Metrical Effects on Speech Movements in Children and Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 1003-1015. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.1003
History: Received June 16, 1998 , Accepted February 26, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 1003-1015. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.1003
History: Received June 16, 1998; Accepted February 26, 1999

The present study investigates motor processes underlying the production of iambic and trochaic metrical forms for children and adults. Lower lip movement was recorded while 16 children between the ages of 3;10 and 4;9 (years; months) and 8 adults produced iambic (e.g., [рǝ′рΛр]) and trochaic (e.g., [′рΛрǝр]) nonce words. For both children and adults, movement patterns for iambic and trochaic words are well differentiated, but in qualitatively different ways. Most notably, children do not produce amplitude modulated forms for trochees, perhaps reflecting a reliance on early developing rhythmic patterns such as those seen in canonical babbling. In contrast, movements corresponding to iambs are well modulated and particularly stable for both groups of speakers, suggesting that they require increased movement specificity. It appears that metrical forms are perceptually and linguistically established and that the child finds the means available within his or her existent motor repertoire to produce adequately differentiated movements corresponding with iambs and trochees.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to Bill Saxton, Karla McGregor, and anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this paper. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) Grants DC03025 and DC02527.
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