Prosodic Influences on Speech Production in Children With Specific Language Impairment and Speech Deficits Kinematic, Acoustic, and Transcription Evidence Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1999
Prosodic Influences on Speech Production in Children With Specific Language Impairment and Speech Deficits
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: goffman@purdue.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1999
Prosodic Influences on Speech Production in Children With Specific Language Impairment and Speech Deficits
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1999, Vol. 42, 1499-1517. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4206.1499
History: Received September 10, 1998 , Accepted May 17, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1999, Vol. 42, 1499-1517. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4206.1499
History: Received September 10, 1998; Accepted May 17, 1999

It is often hypothesized that young children's difficulties with producing weak-strong (iambic) prosodic forms arise from perceptual or linguistically based production factors. A third possible contributor to errors in the iambic form may be biological constraints, or biases, of the motor system. In the present study, 7 children with specific language impairment (SLI) and speech deficits were matched to same age peers. Multiple levels of analysis, including kinematic (modulation and stability of movement), acoustic, and transcription, were applied to children's productions of iambic (weak-strong) and trochaic (strong-weak) prosodic forms. Findings suggest that a motor bias toward producing unmodulated rhythmic articulatory movements, similar to that observed in canonical babbling, contribute to children's acquisition of metrical forms. Children with SLI and speech deficits show less mature segmental and speech motor systems, as well as decreased modulation of movement in later developing iambic forms. Further, components of prosodic and segmental acquisition develop independently and at different rates.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIDCD) Grant DC03025. I am grateful to Caren Malin for her assistance with many phases of this project. I also thank the clinical staff at the M. D. Steer Speech and Hearing Clinic, most notably Jeanette Leonard, for providing the intervention component of the summer research and therapy program in which these children participated. Finally, without the diligence and good humor of the children themselves, this research would not have been possible.
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