NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1139460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Compensatory Strategies in the Developmental Patterns of English /s/: Gender and Vowel Context Effects
Bang, Hye-Young; Clayards, Meghan; Goad, Heather
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n3 p571-591 Mar 2017
Purpose: The developmental trajectory of English /s/ was investigated to determine the extent to which children's speech productions are acoustically fine-grained. Given the hypothesis that young children have adultlike phonetic knowledge of /s/, the following were examined: (a) whether this knowledge manifests itself in acoustic spectra that match the gender-specific patterns of adults, (b) whether vowel context affects the spectra of /s/ in adults and children similarly, and (c) whether children adopt compensatory production strategies to match adult acoustic targets. Method: Several acoustic variables were measured from word-initial /s/ (and /t/) and the following vowel in the productions of children aged 2 to 5 years and adult controls using 2 sets of corpora from the Paidologos database. Results: Gender-specific patterns in the spectral distribution of /s/ were found. Acoustically, more canonical /s/ was produced before vowels with higher F[subscript 1] (i.e., lower vowels) in children, a context where lingual articulation is challenging. Measures of breathiness and vowel intrinsic F[subscript 0] provide evidence that children use a compensatory aerodynamic mechanism to achieve their acoustic targets in articulatorily challenging contexts. Conclusion: Together, these results provide evidence that children's phonetic knowledge is acoustically detailed and gender specified and that speech production goals are acoustically oriented at early stages of speech development.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A