Grammatical Word Production Across Metrical Contexts in School-Aged Children's and Adults' Speech Purpose The purpose of this study is to test whether age-related differences in grammatical word production are due to differences in how children and adults chunk speech for output or to immature articulatory timing control in children. Method Two groups of 12 children, 5 and 8 years old, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 19, 2018
Grammatical Word Production Across Metrical Contexts in School-Aged Children's and Adults' Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melissa A. Redford
    Linguistics Department, University of Oregon, Eugene
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Melissa A. Redford: redford@uoregon.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss×
  • Editor: Maria Grigos
    Editor: Maria Grigos×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 19, 2018
Grammatical Word Production Across Metrical Contexts in School-Aged Children's and Adults' Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2018, Vol. 61, 1339-1354. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0126
History: Received April 9, 2017 , Revised August 23, 2017 , Accepted February 6, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2018, Vol. 61, 1339-1354. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0126
History: Received April 9, 2017; Revised August 23, 2017; Accepted February 6, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study is to test whether age-related differences in grammatical word production are due to differences in how children and adults chunk speech for output or to immature articulatory timing control in children.

Method Two groups of 12 children, 5 and 8 years old, and 1 group of 12 adults produced sentences with phrase-medial determiners. Preceding verbs were varied to create different metrical contexts for chunking the determiner with an adjacent content word. Following noun onsets were varied to assess the coherence of determiner–noun sequences. Determiner vowel duration, amplitude, and formant frequencies were measured.

Results Children produced significantly longer and louder determiners than adults regardless of metrical context. The effect of noun onset on F1 was stronger in children's speech than in adults' speech; the effect of noun onset on F2 was stronger in adults' speech than in children's. Effects of metrical context on anticipatory formant patterns were more evident in children's speech than in adults' speech.

Conclusion The results suggest that both immature articulatory timing control and age-related differences in how chunks are accessed or planned influence grammatical word production in school-aged children's speech. Future work will focus on the development of long-distance coarticulation to reveal the evolution of speech plan structure over time.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development under Grants R01HD061458 and R01HD087452 and, in part, by a fellowship from the European Institutes for Advanced Study, cofunded by the European Commission (Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions COFUND Programme FP7) with administrative and further financial support provided by IMéRA at Aix-Marseille Université. The content is solely the author's responsibility and does not necessarily reflect the views of her sponsors.
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