Suprasegmental Characteristics of Spontaneous Speech Produced in Good and Challenging Communicative Conditions by Talkers Aged 9–14 Years Purpose This study investigated the acoustic characteristics of spontaneous speech by talkers aged 9–14 years and their ability to adapt these characteristics to maintain effective communication when intelligibility was artificially degraded for their interlocutor. Method Recordings were made for 96 children (50 female participants, 46 male participants) engaged ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   December 01, 2016
Suprasegmental Characteristics of Spontaneous Speech Produced in Good and Challenging Communicative Conditions by Talkers Aged 9–14 Years
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Valerie Hazan
    Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, University College London (UCL), UK
  • Outi Tuomainen
    Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, University College London (UCL), UK
  • Michèle Pettinato
    Department of Linguistics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • 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 Valerie Hazan: v.hazan@ucl.ac.uk
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Leonardo Lancia
    Associate Editor: Leonardo Lancia×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Supplement: Select Papers From the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production
Supplement Article   |   December 01, 2016
Suprasegmental Characteristics of Spontaneous Speech Produced in Good and Challenging Communicative Conditions by Talkers Aged 9–14 Years
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, S1596-S1607. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0046
History: Received February 1, 2015 , Revised July 27, 2015 , Accepted February 23, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2016, Vol. 59, S1596-S1607. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0046
History: Received February 1, 2015; Revised July 27, 2015; Accepted February 23, 2016

Purpose This study investigated the acoustic characteristics of spontaneous speech by talkers aged 9–14 years and their ability to adapt these characteristics to maintain effective communication when intelligibility was artificially degraded for their interlocutor.

Method Recordings were made for 96 children (50 female participants, 46 male participants) engaged in a problem-solving task with a same-sex friend; recordings for 20 adults were used as reference. The task was carried out in good listening conditions (normal transmission) and in degraded transmission conditions. Articulation rate, median fundamental frequency (f0), f0 range, and relative energy in the 1- to 3-kHz range were analyzed.

Results With increasing age, children significantly reduced their median f0 and f0 range, became faster talkers, and reduced their mid-frequency energy in spontaneous speech. Children produced similar clear speech adaptations (in degraded transmission conditions) as adults, but only children aged 11–14 years increased their f0 range, an unhelpful strategy not transmitted via the vocoder. Changes made by children were consistent with a general increase in vocal effort.

Conclusion Further developments in speech production take place during later childhood. Children use clear speech strategies to benefit an interlocutor facing intelligibility problems but may not be able to attune these strategies to the same degree as adults.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, Grant RES-062-23-3106 (awarded to Valerie Hazan). The full data set is accessible at the following website: http://reshare.ukdataservice.ac.uk/851525/
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