The Effect of Anatomic Factors on Tongue Position Variability During Consonants PurposeThis study sought to investigate the effect of palate morphology and anthropometric measures of the head on positional variability of the tongue during consonants.MethodAn electromagnetic tracking system was used to record tongue movements of 21 adults. Each talker produced a series of symmetrical VCV syllables containing one of the consonants ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2013
The Effect of Anatomic Factors on Tongue Position Variability During Consonants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Krista Rudy
    University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Yana Yunusova
    University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Correspondence to Yana Yunusova: yana.yunusova@utoronto.ca
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Fiona Gibbon
    Associate Editor: Fiona Gibbon×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   February 01, 2013
The Effect of Anatomic Factors on Tongue Position Variability During Consonants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 137-149. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0218)
History: Received August 10, 2011 , Revised November 19, 2011 , Accepted May 21, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 137-149. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0218)
History: Received August 10, 2011; Revised November 19, 2011; Accepted May 21, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

PurposeThis study sought to investigate the effect of palate morphology and anthropometric measures of the head on positional variability of the tongue during consonants.

MethodAn electromagnetic tracking system was used to record tongue movements of 21 adults. Each talker produced a series of symmetrical VCV syllables containing one of the consonants /t, d, s, z, ʃ, tʃ, k, g, j/ and corner vowels /i, a, u/. Distributions of x, y, and z coordinates at maximum tongue elevation were used to represent tongue position variability across contexts. Anthropometric palate and head measures were also obtained.

ResultsPositional variability of the tongue differed between the front (e.g., alveolar and post-alveolar) and back (velar) consonant groups. A correlational analysis showed that tongue position variability of the front consonants was explained, to a degree, by palate curvature and palate length. The variability of the back consonants was not explained by any structural measures.

ConclusionPalate morphology needs to be taken into account when making observations regarding the extent of tongue position variability during consonants in research and in achieving clinical goals.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant and by the ASHFoundation New Investigators Research Grant, both awarded to the second author. We thank both John Daskalogiannakis and Pascal van Lieshout, who served as members of the first author’s thesis committee, and Gary Weismer for his comments on an earlier version of the article.
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