ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

4pSP3. Perception of the [m]--[n] distinction in VC syllables produced by child and adult speakers.

Ralph N. Ohde Christine W. McMahon Katarina L. Haley

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

This research extends previous developmental studies on the perception of the [m]--[n] distinction in CV syllables [R. N. Ohde and K. Haley, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 92, 2463(A) (1992)]. With only one exception, three talkers for each age level of 3, 5, 7, adult female, and adult male produced VC syllables consisting of either /m/ or /n/ in the context of four vowels /i(ae ligature)u(open aye)/. Two productions of each syllable were modified using waveform editing techniques so that the distribution of place of articulation cues for consonant perception could be determined. Ten adults identified the place of articulation of the nasal from several murmur and vowel transition segments. Preliminary findings indicate that the salience of the place of articulation feature from spectral discontinuity cues is substantially weaker in VC syllables than CV syllables, particulary in children's productions. The findings for the perception of speech segments will be discussed relative to (1) The independence of formant transitions in the vowel and the murmur spectrum as cues to place of articulation in VC syllables, and (2) the developmental role of spectral change between the vowel and the murmur in syllable acquisition. [Work supported by NIH, DC00464.]