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An ultrasound study of lingual coarticulation in children and adults

By Natalia Zharkova, Nigel Hewlett and William J Hardcastle

Abstract

There have been a number of studies which\ud compared coarticulatory patterns in children and\ud adults, but these studies have produced conflicting\ud results, particularly with respect to anticipatory\ud lingual coarticulation. This study used articulatory\ud measures derived from ultrasound imaging, in order\ud to establish any differences between child and adult\ud coarticulatory patterns, and to quantify the degree of\ud variability in children’s and adults’ productions.\ud The participants were four adults and four\ud normally developing children aged 6 to 9 years, all\ud speakers of Standard Scottish English. The data were\ud the syllables /i/, /u/ and /a/, in the carrier phrase\ud “It’s a … Pam” (ten repetitions). Synchronised\ud ultrasound and acoustic data were recorded using the\ud Queen Margaret University ultrasound system. Extent\ud of consonantal coarticulation and within-speaker\ud variation in child and adult productions were\ud compared according to a new ultrasound-based\ud measure of coarticulation.\ud A significantly greater amount of anticipatory\ud lingual coarticulation was found in children than in\ud adults. Much within-group variability was observed,\ud in both age groups. Within-speaker variability was\ud significantly greater in children than in adults. These\ud results are in agreement with some previous studies.\ud Possible reasons are discussed for some of the\ud contradictions in the literature on child and adult\ud coarticulation

Topics: RC
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:243

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