The Effects of Indexical and Phonetic Variation on Vowel Perception in Typically Developing 9- to 12-Year-Old Children PurposeThe purpose of this study was to investigate how linguistic knowledge interacts with indexical knowledge in older children's perception under demanding listening conditions created by extensive talker variability.MethodTwenty-five 9- to 12-year-old children, 12 from North Carolina (NC) and 13 from Wisconsin (WI), identified 12 vowels in isolated /hVd/ words produced ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
The Effects of Indexical and Phonetic Variation on Vowel Perception in Typically Developing 9- to 12-Year-Old Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ewa Jacewicz
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Robert Allen Fox
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Ewa Jacewicz: jacewicz.1@osu.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Megha Sundara
    Associate Editor: Megha Sundara×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
The Effects of Indexical and Phonetic Variation on Vowel Perception in Typically Developing 9- to 12-Year-Old Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 389-405. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-12-0248
History: Received August 7, 2012 , Revised May 10, 2013 , Accepted July 23, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 389-405. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-12-0248
History: Received August 7, 2012; Revised May 10, 2013; Accepted July 23, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to investigate how linguistic knowledge interacts with indexical knowledge in older children's perception under demanding listening conditions created by extensive talker variability.

MethodTwenty-five 9- to 12-year-old children, 12 from North Carolina (NC) and 13 from Wisconsin (WI), identified 12 vowels in isolated /hVd/ words produced by 120 talkers representing the 2 dialects (NC and WI), both genders, and 3 age groups (generations) of residents from the same geographic locations as the listeners.

ResultsIdentification rates were higher for responses to talkers from the same dialect as the listeners and for female speech. Listeners were sensitive to systematic positional variations in vowels and their dynamic structure (formant movement) associated with generational differences in vowel pronunciation resulting from sound change in a speech community. Overall identification rate was 71.7%, which is 8.5% lower than for the adults responding to the same stimuli in Jacewicz and Fox (2012) .

ConclusionTypically developing older children were successful in dealing with both phonetic and indexical variation related to talker dialect, gender, and generation. They were less consistent than the adults, most likely because of less efficient encoding of acoustic-phonetic information in the speech of multiple talkers and relative inexperience with indexical variation.

Acknowledgments
This publication was made possible by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant Number R01 DC006871. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We thank Joseph Salmons for his contributions to this research. Many thanks go to Janaye Houghton and Dilara Tepeli for help with data collection in North Carolina and Wisconsin, respectively, and to Leigh Smitley for help with data management and processing.
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