Planning of Hiatus-Breaking Inserted /ɹ/ in the Speech of Australian English–Speaking Children Purpose Non-rhotic varieties of English often use /ɹ/ insertion as a connected speech process to separate heterosyllabic V1.V2 hiatus contexts. However, there has been little research on children's development of this strategy. This study investigated whether children use /ɹ/ insertion and, if so, whether hiatus-breaking /ɹ/ can be considered planned, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 14, 2017
Planning of Hiatus-Breaking Inserted /ɹ/ in the Speech of Australian English–Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ivan Yuen
    Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
  • Felicity Cox
    Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
  • Katherine Demuth
    Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
  • 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 Ivan Yuen: ivan.yuen@mq.edu.au
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Carol Stoel-Gammon
    Associate Editor: Carol Stoel-Gammon×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 14, 2017
Planning of Hiatus-Breaking Inserted /ɹ/ in the Speech of Australian English–Speaking Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2017, Vol. 60, 826-835. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0085
History: Received March 2, 2016 , Revised September 13, 2016 , Accepted October 8, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2017, Vol. 60, 826-835. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0085
History: Received March 2, 2016; Revised September 13, 2016; Accepted October 8, 2016

Purpose Non-rhotic varieties of English often use /ɹ/ insertion as a connected speech process to separate heterosyllabic V1.V2 hiatus contexts. However, there has been little research on children's development of this strategy. This study investigated whether children use /ɹ/ insertion and, if so, whether hiatus-breaking /ɹ/ can be considered planned, as evidenced by F3 lowering on V1.

Method Thirteen Australian English–speaking children (7 girls, 6 boys; mean age 6;1 [years;months]) participated in an elicited production task. The stimuli included carrier sentences containing 4 test words (linking /ɹ/ context: door, floor; intrusive /ɹ/ context: paw, claw) followed by of (e.g., “This is the paw of the cat”). After familiarization containing auditory and picture prompts, children produced test sentences upon presentation of picture prompts alone.

Results Eight children produced /ɹ/ insertion; the others used (some) glottalization. The incidence of /ɹ/ did not vary across linking or intrusive contexts, and inserted /ɹ/ was associated with F3 lowering at V1 onset relative to control items without /ɹ/.

Conclusion Six-year-old Australian English–speaking children who use /ɹ/ insertion show evidence of planning ahead and inserting /ɹ/ as a segment. The implications for the development of speech-planning processes and phonological and lexical representations are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Macquarie University and the following grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC): ARC CE 110001021, awarded to Crain et al.; ARC FL130100014, awarded to Katherine Demuth; and ARC DP110102479, awarded to Felicity Cox. We would like to thank our participants for taking part in the research, Amit German and Linda Buckley for data collection and coding, and the Child Language Lab and Phonetics Lab for feedback and suggestions.
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