Kinematic Differentiation of Prosodic Categories in Normal and Disordered Language Development Prosody is complex and hierarchically organized but is realized as rhythmic movement sequences. Thus, observations of the development of rhythmic aspects of movement can provide insight into links between motor and language processes, specifically whether prosodic distinctions (e.g., feet and prosodic words) are instantiated in rhythmic movement output. This experiment ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2004
Kinematic Differentiation of Prosodic Categories in Normal and Disordered Language Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: goffman@purdue.edu
  • Contact author: Lisa Goffman, PhD, Audiology & Speech Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.E-mail: goffman@purdue.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2004
Kinematic Differentiation of Prosodic Categories in Normal and Disordered Language Development
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1088-1102. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/081)
History: Received May 10, 2003 , Revised November 13, 2003 , Accepted January 5, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1088-1102. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/081)
History: Received May 10, 2003; Revised November 13, 2003; Accepted January 5, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 35

Prosody is complex and hierarchically organized but is realized as rhythmic movement sequences. Thus, observations of the development of rhythmic aspects of movement can provide insight into links between motor and language processes, specifically whether prosodic distinctions (e.g., feet and prosodic words) are instantiated in rhythmic movement output. This experiment examined 4–7-year-old children’s (both normally developing and specifically language impaired) and adults’ productions of prosodic sequences that were controlled for phonetic content but differed in morphosyntactic structure (i.e., content vs. function words). Primary analyses included kinematic measures of rhythmic structure (i.e., amplitude and duration of movements in weak vs. strong syllables) across content and function contexts. Findings showed that at the level of articulatory movement, adults produced distinct rhythmic categories across content and function word contexts, whereas children did not. Children with specific language impairment differed from normally developing peers only in their ability to produce well-organized and stable rhythmic movements, not in the differentiation of prosodic categories.

Acknowledgments
I am grateful to Caren Malin and Bill Saxton for invaluable assistance with many phases of this research. This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders Grants DC03025 and DC04826.
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