Age and Phonetic Context Effects in Children vs. Adults

by Utz, Tessa R

Abstract (Summary)
In normal hearing adults, acoustic context influences perception of speech in a spectrally contrastive manner. The aim of this study is to investigate whether typically developing children, aged 5 through 6 and 7 through 9 years, demonstrate phonetic context effects in a manner and extent similar to adults. By comparing the childrens responses to those of adults aged 18 to 28 years, it will be determined if the childrens use of phonetic context is limited by maturity. A total of 61 individuals participated in this study: 45 adults and 16 children. The participants listened to isolated vowels along the /?/ to /?/ acoustic continuum and indicated if they heard /?/ or /?/. They then listened to the same vowel continuum within a /d/-Vowel-/d/ syllable context and in a /b/-Vowel-/b/ syllable context. With each syllable presentation the participants identified the vowel sound that they heard. The participants responses were assessed for shifts in the vowel perceptual boundaries relative to consonant context. The results indicated that the older children and the adults exhibited a context effect, but as a group, the younger children did not exhibit the effect. However, some of the younger children presented an effect that was consistent with the Older Children and Adults.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Sheila Pratt; Dr. Lori Holt; Dr. John Durrant; Dr. Deborah Moncrieff

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:communication science and disorders


Date of Publication:04/30/2009

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