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ERIC Number: EJ859453
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Producing American English Vowels during Vocal Tract Growth: A Perceptual Categorization Study of Synthesized Vowels
Menard, Lucie; Davis, Barbara L.; Boe, Louis-Jean; Roy, Johanna-Pascale
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v52 n5 p1268-1285 Oct 2009
Purpose: To consider interactions of vocal tract change with growth and perceived output patterns across development, the influence of nonuniform vocal tract growth on the ability to reach acoustic-perceptual targets for English vowels was studied. Method: Thirty-seven American English speakers participated in a perceptual categorization experiment. For the experiment, an articulatory-to-acoustic model was used to synthesize 342 five-formant vowels, covering maximal vowel spaces for speakers at 5 growth stages (from 6 months old to adult). Results: Results indicate that the 3 vowels /i u [ash]/ can be correctly perceived by adult listeners when produced by speakers with a 6-month-old vocal tract. Articulatory-to-acoustic relationships for these 3 vowels differ across growth stages. For a given perceived vowel category, the infant's tongue position is more fronted than the adult's. Furthermore, nonuniform vocal tract growth influences degree of interarticulator coupling for a given perceived vowel, leading to a reduced correlation between jaw height and tongue body position in infantlike compared with adult vocal tracts. Conclusion: Findings suggest that nonuniform vocal tract growth does not prevent the speaker from producing acoustic-auditory targets related to American English vowels. However, the relationships between articulatory configurations and perceptual targets change from birth to adulthood.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; 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