ASA 124th Meeting New Orleans 1992 October

5aSP6. The development role of interspeaker variability in the perception of the /m/--/n/ distinction in CV syllables.

Ralph N. Ohde

Katarina Haley

Div. of Hear. and Speech Sci., Box 552, Sta. 17, Vanderbilt Univ. School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232

In order to determine the efficacy of a pre-identification task designed to assess the range of perceptual cues in normal speakers, adults rated CV syllables produced by children and adults consisting of either /m/ or /n/ in the context of four vowels /i (ae ligature) u (open aye)/. Based on the pre-identification rating task, the syllables of three speakers for each age level of 3, 5, 7, adult female, and adult male representing the entire range of perceptual variation were modified according to several waveform editing techniques. Ten adults identified the place of articulation of the nasal from several murmur and vowel transition segments. The results of the pre-identification rating task revealed that interspeaker variability was greatest for the 3-year-olds and least for the adult females. The findings for the perception of speech segments will be discussed relative to: (1) the development role of interspeaker variability in processing cues to place of articulation, and (2)previous results on the nature of segmental, coarticulatory, and integrated cues in speech development (Ohde, submitted). [Work supported by NIH, DC 00464.]