How Do Children Organize Their Speech in the First Years of Life? Insight From Ultrasound Imaging Purpose This study reports on a cross-sectional investigation of lingual coarticulation in 57 typically developing German children (4 cohorts from 3.5 to 7 years of age) as compared with 12 adults. It examines whether the organization of lingual gestures for intrasyllabic coarticulation differs as a function of age and consonantal ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 19, 2018
How Do Children Organize Their Speech in the First Years of Life? Insight From Ultrasound Imaging
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Aude Noiray
    Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition, University of Potsdam, Germany
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
  • Dzhuma Abakarova
    Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Elina Rubertus
    Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Stella Krüger
    Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Mark Tiede
    Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT
  • 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 Aude Noiray: anoiray@uni-potsdam.de
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Liss×
  • Editor: Natalia Zharkova
    Editor: Natalia Zharkova×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 19, 2018
How Do Children Organize Their Speech in the First Years of Life? Insight From Ultrasound Imaging
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2018, Vol. 61, 1355-1368. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0148
History: Received April 19, 2017 , Revised September 11, 2017 , Accepted February 7, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2018, Vol. 61, 1355-1368. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0148
History: Received April 19, 2017; Revised September 11, 2017; Accepted February 7, 2018
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose This study reports on a cross-sectional investigation of lingual coarticulation in 57 typically developing German children (4 cohorts from 3.5 to 7 years of age) as compared with 12 adults. It examines whether the organization of lingual gestures for intrasyllabic coarticulation differs as a function of age and consonantal context.

Method Using the technique of ultrasound imaging, we recorded movement of the tongue articulator during the production of pseudowords, including various vocalic and consonantal contexts.

Results Results from linear mixed-effects models show greater lingual coarticulation in all groups of children as compared with adults with a significant decrease from the kindergarten years (at ages 3, 4, and 5 years) to the end of the 1st year into primary school (at age 7 years). Additional differences in coarticulation degree were found across and within age groups as a function of the onset consonant identity (/b/, /d/, and /g/).

Conclusions Results support the view that, although coarticulation degree decreases with age, children do not organize consecutive articulatory gestures with a uniform organizational scheme (e.g., segmental or syllabic). Instead, results suggest that coarticulatory organization is sensitive to the underlying articulatory properties of the segments combined.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (1098 and 255676067, recipient: Dr. Aude Noiray). The authors are grateful to Carol Fowler for stimulating discussions at various stages of this research and to Martijn Wieling for his statistical insights. The authors are grateful to Jan Ries (University of Potsdam) for his assistance in developing MATLAB scripts, to the Baby-Lab at University of Potsdam (in particular to Barbara Hoehle and Tom Fritzsch) for helping with participants' recruitment, and the team at the Laboratory for Oral Language Acquisition involved in data recording and processing. Importantly, the authors thank all the participants, adults, and children without whom this research would not have been possible. Finally, we are grateful to the three reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access