Developmental Changes in the Effects of Utterance Length and Complexity on Speech Movement Variability Purpose The authors examined the effects of utterance length and linguistic complexity on speech movement consistency for 210 participants between the ages of 5 and 22 years. Variability and durational analyses were conducted to (a) determine a more complete picture of the developmental course of earlier observations of the effects ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
Developmental Changes in the Effects of Utterance Length and Complexity on Speech Movement Variability
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Neeraja Sadagopan
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Neeraja Sadagopan, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, 1353 Heavilon Hall, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038. E-mail: sadagopn@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
Developmental Changes in the Effects of Utterance Length and Complexity on Speech Movement Variability
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1138-1151. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0222)
History: Received November 29, 2006 , Revised June 6, 2007 , Accepted November 29, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1138-1151. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/06-0222)
History: Received November 29, 2006; Revised June 6, 2007; Accepted November 29, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 30

Purpose The authors examined the effects of utterance length and linguistic complexity on speech movement consistency for 210 participants between the ages of 5 and 22 years. Variability and durational analyses were conducted to (a) determine a more complete picture of the developmental course of earlier observations of the effects of linguistic constructs on speech motor variability and (b) describe trends for duration of the same sequence of words in different sentential contexts across development.

Method Lower-lip movement was recorded during the production of “buy Bobby a puppy” spoken in isolation as well as embedded as a phrase in 2 longer, more complex sentences.

Results Compared with young adults, children demonstrated higher variability in producing repeated movement sequences for the target word sequence across all conditions. Also, for all age groups except young adults, increased processing demands resulted in significantly increased movement trajectory variability. Duration analyses suggest that around age 9 years, children begin to use adult-like pre-speech processes to plan the timing of sentence internal phrases, and maturation of these planning processes continues through late adolescence.

Conclusion These results provide further evidence for language–motor interactions and for a protracted course of speech motor development that continues well into adolescence.

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