Developmental Role of Static, Dynamic, and Contextual Cues in Speech Perception The purpose of the current study was to examine the role of syllable duration context as well as static and dynamic acoustic properties in child and adult speech perception. Ten adults and eleven 4–5-year-old children identified a syllable as [ba] or [wa] (stop-glide contrast) in 3 conditions differing in synthetic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2005
Developmental Role of Static, Dynamic, and Contextual Cues in Speech Perception
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Candace Bourland Hicks
    Texas Tech University, Health Sciences Center, Lubbock
  • Ralph N. Ohde
    Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2005
Developmental Role of Static, Dynamic, and Contextual Cues in Speech Perception
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2005, Vol. 48, 960-974. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/066)
History: Received July 22, 2004 , Accepted December 17, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2005, Vol. 48, 960-974. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/066)
History: Received July 22, 2004; Accepted December 17, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

The purpose of the current study was to examine the role of syllable duration context as well as static and dynamic acoustic properties in child and adult speech perception. Ten adults and eleven 4–5-year-old children identified a syllable as [ba] or [wa] (stop-glide contrast) in 3 conditions differing in synthetic continua. The 1st condition tested the potential existence of the syllable duration effect in young children, whereas the 2nd and 3rd conditions examined the developmental role of static and dynamic cues, respectively, as related to syllable duration context effects. In the 1st condition, the 1st and 2nd formant transition duration of stimuli varied from those appropriate for [ba] to those appropriate for [wa]. For the 2nd condition, a static burst was added to Condition 1 stimuli. For the 3rd condition, the dynamic transition frequency and transition duration for the first 3 formants varied as appropriate for [ba] and [wa]. In each condition, 3 syllable context durations of 105 ms, 170 ms, and 315 ms were tested. The results indicated that syllable duration context effects were present across all conditions for both adults and children. However, the adults and children did differ in the 3rd condition, in which both the transition frequency and the transition duration were altered. Thus, children used the dynamic formant transitions differently than adults when transition frequency was varied along with transition duration. These findings show that children have a bias toward formant transitions and indicate that young children of 4–5 years of age attend differently than adults to changes in dynamic cues such as formant transitions, as predicted by the developmental cue weighting shift model.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Grant DC00523-08. We express our appreciation to Dan Ashmead and Anne Marie Tharpe for comments on drafts of this article and to Kylie Beck and Jon Tapp for the preparation of figures. We extend our sincere thanks to the adults and the children and their parents who participated in this research, without whose cooperation, help, and patience such a study could not have been completed.
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