Infants Discriminate Voicing and Place of Articulation With Reduced Spectral and Temporal Modulation Cues Purpose This study assessed the role of spectro-temporal modulation cues in the discrimination of 2 phonetic contrasts (voicing and place) for young infants. Method A visual-habituation procedure was used to assess the ability of French-learning 6-month-old infants with normal hearing to discriminate voiced versus unvoiced (/aba/-/apa/) and labial ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2015
Infants Discriminate Voicing and Place of Articulation With Reduced Spectral and Temporal Modulation Cues
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laurianne Cabrera
    Université Paris Descartes, France
  • Christian Lorenzi
    Institut d'Etude de la Cognition, Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University, France
  • Josiane Bertoncini
    Université Paris Descartes, France
  • 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 Laurianne Cabrera: laurianne.cabrera@gmail.com
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Karen Kirk
    Associate Editor: Karen Kirk×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2015
Infants Discriminate Voicing and Place of Articulation With Reduced Spectral and Temporal Modulation Cues
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 1033-1042. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0121
History: Received May 5, 2014 , Revised November 16, 2014 , Accepted February 2, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 1033-1042. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0121
History: Received May 5, 2014; Revised November 16, 2014; Accepted February 2, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose This study assessed the role of spectro-temporal modulation cues in the discrimination of 2 phonetic contrasts (voicing and place) for young infants.

Method A visual-habituation procedure was used to assess the ability of French-learning 6-month-old infants with normal hearing to discriminate voiced versus unvoiced (/aba/-/apa/) and labial versus dental (/aba/-/ada/) stop consonants. The stimuli were processed by tone-excited vocoders to degrade frequency-modulation cues while preserving: (a) amplitude-modulation (AM) cues within 32 analysis frequency bands, (b) slow AM cues only (<16 Hz) within 32 bands, and (c) AM cues within 8 bands.

Results Infants exhibited discrimination responses for both phonetic contrasts in each processing condition. However, when fast AM cues were degraded, infants required a longer exposure to vocoded stimuli to reach the habituation criterion.

Conclusions Altogether, these results indicate that the processing of modulation cues conveying phonetic information on voicing and place is “functional” at 6 months. The data also suggest that the perceptual weight of fast AM speech cues may change during development.

Acknowledgments
Christian Lorenzi was supported by grants from Investissements d'Avenir/L'Agence Nationale de la Recherche: ANR-10-LABX-0087 IEC and ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL. Josiane Bertoncini was supported by Grant ANR-12-ISH2-0001-01. The authors would like to thank the parents and their kids for their participation. The authors also thank Lynne Werner for detailed comments on this article.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access