5aSC29. Stop consonant perception in 3- and 4-year-old children.

Session: Friday Morning, May 17

Author: Ralph N. Ohde
Author: Katarina L. Haley
Location: Div. of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Station 17, Vanderbilt Univ. School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232


The purpose of this study was to examine the importance of different acoustic properties for the perception of place of articulation in young children and adults. Ten adults and ten children in both of the age groups, 3 and 4 years, listened to synthesized consonant--vowel syllables comprised of all combinations of [b d g] and [i]. The synthesis parameters included manipulations of the following stimulus variables: formant transition (moving or straight), noise burst (present or absent), and voicing duration (10 or 46 ms). In a recent study [R. N. Ohde et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 97, 3800--3812 (1995)] of children between 5 and 11 years of age, there was no difference between children and adults in terms of the perceptual weight placed on the dynamic formant transition cue. However, in the current study, preliminary findings indicate that young children's identification of stop consonants was higher for moving transitions than straight transitions. In addition, the children's identification of stops was frequently poor in the [i] context. Overall, these results suggest that children pay particular attention to dynamic cues in the early period of sound acquisition, and that they have reduced auditory sensitivity for acoustic correlates of place of articulation in the [i] context. [Work supported by NIDCD.]

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996