Speaking Fundamental Frequency Characteristics of White, African American, and Hispanic Kindergartners Speech samples from groups of White, African American, and Hispanic kindergarten-age children were compared on measures of mean speaking fundamental frequency (Fo), maximum and minimum speaking Fo, pitch sigma, and speaking range (in semitones). Results indicate that there are significant differences between racial groups on measures of mean speaking Fo ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1996
Speaking Fundamental Frequency Characteristics of White, African American, and Hispanic Kindergartners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shaheen N. Awan
    Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA
  • Peter B. Mueller
    Kent State University, Kent, OH
  • Contact author: Shaheen N. Awan, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders & Special Education, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. E-mail: sawan@planetx.bloomu.edu
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1996
Speaking Fundamental Frequency Characteristics of White, African American, and Hispanic Kindergartners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1996, Vol. 39, 573-577. doi:10.1044/jshr.3903.573
History: Received October 2, 1995 , Accepted January 16, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1996, Vol. 39, 573-577. doi:10.1044/jshr.3903.573
History: Received October 2, 1995; Accepted January 16, 1996

Speech samples from groups of White, African American, and Hispanic kindergarten-age children were compared on measures of mean speaking fundamental frequency (Fo), maximum and minimum speaking Fo, pitch sigma, and speaking range (in semitones). Results indicate that there are significant differences between racial groups on measures of mean speaking Fo and speaking range. In particular, the Hispanic children were observed to have increased mean speaking FOS in comparison with the African American children and reduced speaking ranges as compared to both African American and White racial groups. Results indicate that the speech-language pathologist must exercise discretion when assessing the speaking Fo characteristics (particularly mean speaking Fo and speaking range) of children from different racial groups.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to acknowledge the participation of Dr. G. Larson and Ms. P. Summers (University of North Texas, Denton) in the initial phases of this study and Ms. Rebecca Quick and Ms. Antoinette Hamidian (Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA) for their aid in the completion of this work. A subset of the data presented in this study was presented by S. Awan, P. Mueller, G. Larson, & P. Summers at the 1991 Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Houston.
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