Articulating Novel Words: Children's Oromotor Skills Predict Nonword Repetition Abilities PurposePronouncing a novel word for the first time requires the transformation of a newly encoded speech signal into a series of coordinated, exquisitely timed oromotor movements. Individual differences in children's ability to repeat novel nonwords are associated with vocabulary development and later literacy. Nonword repetition (NWR) is often used to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2013
Articulating Novel Words: Children's Oromotor Skills Predict Nonword Repetition Abilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Saloni Krishnan
    University of London, United Kingdom
  • Katherine J. Alcock
    Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
  • Evelyne Mercure
    UCL, London
  • Robert Leech
    Imperial College, London
  • Edward Barker
    University of London, United Kingdom
  • Annette Karmiloff-Smith
    University of London, United Kingdom
  • Frederic Dick
    University of London, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Saloni Krishnan at s.krishnan@bbk.ac.uk or Frederic Dick at f.dick@bbk.ac.uk.
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse
    Associate Editor: Marc Joanisse×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 01, 2013
Articulating Novel Words: Children's Oromotor Skills Predict Nonword Repetition Abilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2013, Vol. 56, 1800-1812. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0206)
History: Received June 29, 2012 , Revised December 14, 2012 , Accepted March 4, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2013, Vol. 56, 1800-1812. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0206)
History: Received June 29, 2012; Revised December 14, 2012; Accepted March 4, 2013

PurposePronouncing a novel word for the first time requires the transformation of a newly encoded speech signal into a series of coordinated, exquisitely timed oromotor movements. Individual differences in children's ability to repeat novel nonwords are associated with vocabulary development and later literacy. Nonword repetition (NWR) is often used to test clinical populations. While phonological/auditory memory contributions to learning and pronouncing nonwords have been extensively studied, much less is known about the contribution of children's oromotor skills to this process.

MethodTwo independent cohorts of children (7–13 years [N = 40] and 6.9–7.7 years [N = 37]) were tested on a battery of linguistic and nonlinguistic tests, including NWR and oromotor tasks.

ResultsIn both cohorts, individual differences in oromotor control were a significant contributor to NWR abilities; moreover, in an omnibus analysis including experimental and standardized tasks, oromotor control predicted the most unique variance in NWR.

ConclusionResults indicate that nonlinguistic oromotor skills contribute to children's NWR ability and suggest that important aspects of language learning and consequent language deficits may be rooted in the ability to perform complex sensorimotor transformations.

Acknowledgments
We thank the Medical Research Council, United Kingdom (Grant G0400341), and the Waterloo Foundation, United Kingdom, for their generous support of this study; we also thank Jason Zevin, Essi Viding, Daniel Richardson, and Charles Hulme for comments and discussions.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access