Methodological Issues in Studies of Early Articulatory Development A Response to Dworkin, Meleca, and Stachler (2003) Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   August 01, 2003
Methodological Issues in Studies of Early Articulatory Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jordan R. Green
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Christopher A. Moore
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Kevin J. Reilly
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Jordan R. Green, Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1975 Willow Drive, Madison, WI 53706. E-mail: jordangreen@wisc.edu
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   August 01, 2003
Methodological Issues in Studies of Early Articulatory Development
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 1020-1021. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/080)
History: Received November 12, 2002 , Accepted January 28, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 1020-1021. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/080)
History: Received November 12, 2002; Accepted January 28, 2003
We appreciate the opportunity to clarify our previous findings in response to questions raised by Dworkin, Meleca, and Stachler (2003), who have cited our work with respect to its implications for the study and treatment of speech motor impairment. These researchers raise the possibility that differences in articulatory performance across the age groups may have been related to group differences in speech sampling methods rather than to development. They imply that because our younger (i.e., 1- or 2-years-old) participants’ utterances were obtained with reduced experimental control relative to the older participants’ (play vs. reading), their articulatory performance should have been less consistent than the older participants’ because of naturally occurring variations in loudness and rate, and potential “upstream” effects related to “torso and limb adjustments.” Several aspects of our experimental design mitigate these concerns and, most importantly, our findings are the opposite of predicted effects arising from speech sampling differences across age groups: (a) Adult-like stability was observed in the infants’ jaw movement patterns despite the fact that infant vocalizations were elicited under less controlled conditions, (b) Each participant served as his or her own control, which permitted the evaluation of differences across articulators during development, (c) Postprocessing techniques minimized linear-scaling differences in articulatory movement across repetitions, (d) Finally, trunk mobility was restricted during data collection.
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