Article/Report  |   August 1999
Metrical Effects on Speech Movements in Children and Adults
Author Notes
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article/Report   |   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: Accepted 26 Feb 1999 , Received 16 Jun 1998
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 1999, Vol.42, 1003-1015. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.1003
History: Accepted 26 Feb 1999 , Received 16 Jun 1998

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., [pép^p]) and trochaic (e.g., ['p^pep]) 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.

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