Amplitude Rise Time Does Not Cue the /bɑ/–/wɑ/ Contrast for Adults or Children Purpose Previous research has demonstrated that children weight the acoustic cues to many phonemic decisions differently than do adults and gradually shift those strategies as they gain language experience. However, that research has focused on spectral and duration cues rather than on amplitude cues. In the current study, the authors ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2013
Amplitude Rise Time Does Not Cue the /bɑ/–/wɑ/ Contrast for Adults or Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Nittrouer
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Joanna H. Lowenstein
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Eric Tarr
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Correspondence to Susan Nittrouer: nittrouer.1@osu.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek
    Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2013
Amplitude Rise Time Does Not Cue the /bɑ/–/wɑ/ Contrast for Adults or Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2013, Vol. 56, 427-440. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0075)
History: Received March 7, 2012 , Revised July 7, 2012 , Accepted August 14, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2013, Vol. 56, 427-440. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0075)
History: Received March 7, 2012; Revised July 7, 2012; Accepted August 14, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose Previous research has demonstrated that children weight the acoustic cues to many phonemic decisions differently than do adults and gradually shift those strategies as they gain language experience. However, that research has focused on spectral and duration cues rather than on amplitude cues. In the current study, the authors examined amplitude rise time (ART; an amplitude cue) and formant rise time (FRT; a spectral cue) in the /bɑ/–/wɑ/ manner contrast for adults and children, and related those speech decisions to outcomes of nonspeech discrimination tasks.

Method Twenty adults and 30 children (ages 4–5 years) labeled natural and synthetic speech stimuli manipulated to vary ARTs and FRTs, and discriminated nonspeech analogs that varied only by ART in an AX paradigm.

Results Three primary results were obtained. First, listeners in both age groups based speech labeling judgments on FRT, not on ART. Second, the fundamental frequency of the natural speech samples did not influence labeling judgments. Third, discrimination performance for the nonspeech stimuli did not predict how listeners would perform with the speech stimuli.

Conclusion Even though both adults and children are sensitive to ART, it was not weighted in phonemic judgments by these typical listeners.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC000633. We thank Ellen Hambley for her help with subject testing. We also acknowledge Amanda Caldwell's help in reading an earlier draft of this article.
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