Toward Improved Spectral Measures of /s/: Results From Adolescents PurposeThis article introduces theoretically driven acoustic measures of /s/ that reflect aerodynamic and articulatory conditions. The measures were evaluated by assessing whether they revealed expected changes over time and labiality effects, along with possible gender differences suggested by past work.MethodProductions of /s/ were extracted from various speaking tasks from typically ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2013
Toward Improved Spectral Measures of /s/: Results From Adolescents
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura L. Koenig
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Christine H. Shadle
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Jonathan L. Preston
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Christine R. Mooshammer
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Correspondence to Laura L. Koenig: koenig@haskins.yale.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Scott Thomson
    Associate Editor: Scott Thomson×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   August 01, 2013
Toward Improved Spectral Measures of /s/: Results From Adolescents
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1175-1189. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0038)
History: Received January 27, 2012 , Revised July 7, 2012 , Accepted November 25, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1175-1189. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0038)
History: Received January 27, 2012; Revised July 7, 2012; Accepted November 25, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

PurposeThis article introduces theoretically driven acoustic measures of /s/ that reflect aerodynamic and articulatory conditions. The measures were evaluated by assessing whether they revealed expected changes over time and labiality effects, along with possible gender differences suggested by past work.

MethodProductions of /s/ were extracted from various speaking tasks from typically speaking adolescents (6 boys, 6 girls). Measures were made of relative spectral energies in low- (550–3000 Hz), mid- (3000–7000 Hz), and high-frequency regions (7000–11025 Hz); the mid-frequency amplitude peak; and temporal changes in these parameters. Spectral moments were also obtained to permit comparison with existing work.

ResultsSpectral balance measures in low–mid and mid–high frequency bands varied over the time course of /s/, capturing the development of sibilance at mid-fricative along with showing some effects of gender and labiality. The mid-frequency spectral peak was significantly higher in nonlabial contexts, and in girls. Temporal variation in the mid-frequency peak differentiated ±labial contexts while normalizing over gender.

ConclusionsThe measures showed expected patterns, supporting their validity. Comparison of these data with studies of adults suggests some developmental patterns that call for further study. The measures may also serve to differentiate some cases of typical and misarticulated /s/.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported, in part, by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grants DC006705 (awarded to Christine Shadle) and DC008780 (awarded to Louis Goldstein) as well as by National Institutes of Health Grant T32HD7548 (awarded to Carol Fowler). Preliminary portions of this work were presented at the 157th (Portland, 2009) and 161st (Seattle, 2011) meetings of the Acoustical Society of America, and the 9th International Seminar on Speech Production (Montreal, 2011). We express our appreciation to Khalil Iskarous for assistance in programming early versions of the MATLAB analyses; Mary Louise Edwards for assistance with stimulus development and verifying typical speech patterns in the speakers; Dyala Sophia Eid, and Natoy Gayle (both supported by graduate assistantships at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus) for assistance in preliminary data processing; and Anders Löfqvist, Doug Whalen, Jody Kreiman, and Scott Thomson for comments on earlier versions of this work.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access