Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

An ultrasound study of lingual coarticulation in children and adults

By Natalia Zharkova, Nigel Hewlett and William J Hardcastle


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:

Suggested articles


  1. (2007). A fast all nearest neighbour algorithm for applications involving large point-clouds. doi
  2. (1987). Acoustic analyses and perceptual data on anticipatory labial coarticulation in adults and children. doi
  3. (1991). Anticipatory coarticulation in the speech of adults and young children: acoustic, perceptual, and video data. doi
  4. (2001). Coarticulation in fricativevowel syllables produced by children and adults: a preliminary report. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, doi
  5. (1995). Effects of lexical meaning and practiced productions on coarticulation in children’s and adults’ speech. doi
  6. (1996). Experimental phonology with acoustic phonetic methods: formant measures from child speech. In
  7. (1996). How children learn to organize their speech gestures: further evidence from fricative-vowel syllables. doi
  8. (1992). Locus equations as an index of coarticulation for place of articulation distinctions in children. doi
  9. (2002). N i j l a n d , B . M a a s s e n , S . V a n d e r M e u l e n doi
  10. (1979). Nasal air flow during normal speech production.
  11. (2007). Quantification of coarticulatory effects in several Scottish English phonemes using ultrasound. QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers,
  12. (1989). The emergence of phonetic segments: evidence from the spectral structure of fricative-vowel syllables spoken by children and adults. doi
  13. (1983). The segmental organization of speech. doi
  14. (2007). The trough effect: an ultrasound study. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.