Children's Weighting Strategies for Word-Final Stop Voicing Are Not Explained by Auditory Sensitivities

Nittrouer, Susan; Lowenstein, Joanna H.
February 2007
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2007, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p58
Academic Journal
Purpose: It has been reported that children and adults weight differently the various acoustic properties of the speech signal that support phonetic decisions. This finding is generally attributed to the fact that the amount of weight assigned to various acoustic properties by adults varies across languages, and that children have not yet discovered the mature weighting strategies of their own native languages. But an alternative explanation exists: Perhaps children's auditory sensitivities for some acoustic properties of speech are poorer than those of adults, and children cannot categorize stimuli based on properties to which they are not keenly sensitive. The purpose of the current study was to test that hypothesis. Method: Edited-natural, synthetic-formant, and sine wave stimuli were all used, and all were modeled after words with voiced and voiceless final stops. Adults and children (5 and 7 years of age) listened to pairs of stimuli in 5 conditions: 2 involving a temporal property (1 with speech and 1 with nonspeech stimuli) and 3 involving a spectral property (1 with speech and 2 with nonspeech stimuli). An AX discrimination task was used in which a standard stimulus (A) was compared with all other stimuli (X) equal numbers of times (method of constant stimuli). Results: Adults and children had similar difference thresholds (i.e., 50% point on the discrimination function) for 2 of the 3 sets of nonspeech stimuli (1 temporal and 1 spectral ), but children's thresholds were greater for both sets of speech stimuli. Conclusion: Results are interpreted as evidence that children's auditory sensitivities are adequate to support weighting strategies similar to those of adults, and so observed differences between children and adults in speech perception cannot be explained by differences in auditory perception. Furthermore, it is concluded that listeners bring expectations to the listening task about the nature of the signals they are hearing based on their experiences with those signals.


Related Articles

  • SEMEL AUDITORY PROCESSING PROGRAM: TRAINING EFFECTS AMONG CHILDREN WITH LANGUAGE-LEARNING DISABILITIES. Semel, Eleanor M.; Wiig, Elisabeth H. // Journal of Learning Disabilities;Apr1981, Vol. 14 Issue 4, p192 

    Examines whether language processing abilities among school-age children with language-learning disabilities could be improved through training with the Semel Auditory Processing Program (SAPP). Relation of specific deficits in auditory memory and sequencing and in the acquisition of word and...

  • Audibility and Speech Perception of Children Using Wide Dynamic Range Compression Hearing Aids. Davidson, Lisa S.; Skinner, Margaret W. // American Journal of Audiology;Dec2006, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p141 

    Purpose: This study examined the relation of audibility for frequency-specific sounds and the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) to speech perception abilities of children with sensorineural hearing loss using digital signal-processing hearing aids with wide dynamic range compression. Method:...

  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders: "He Won't Outgrow Them" Mencher, George T.; Stick, Sheldon L. // Clinical Pediatrics;Nov1974, Vol. 13 Issue 11, p977 

    Focuses on the auditory perceptual disorders in children. Consequences of auditory perceptual disturbances; Approaches to recognition and identification of the disorder; Examinations and therapy for language delayed children; Teaching of compensatory behavior.

  • Speech Perception Results for Children Using Cochlear Implants Who Have Additional Special Needs. Dettman, Shani J.; Fiket, Hayley; Dowell, Richard C.; Charlton, Margaret; Williams, Sarah S.; Tomov, Alexandra M.; Barker, Elizabeth J. // Volta Review;Winter2004, Vol. 104 Issue 4, p361 

    Speech perception outcomes in young children with cochlear implants are affected by a number of variables including the age of implantation, duration of implantation, mode of communication, and the presence of a developmental delay or additional disability. The aim of this study is to examine...

  • Reversal of Hemispheric Asymmetry on Auditory Tasks in Children Who Are Poor Listeners. Estes, Rebecca I.; Jerger, James; Jacobson, Gary // Journal of the American Academy of Audiology;Feb2002, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p59 

    We examined hemispheric activation patterns during auditory and visual processing in two groups of children: 13 boys in the age range from 9 to 12 years rated by their parents and teachers as poor listeners and 11 boys in the same age range rated as normal listeners. Three tasks were employed:...

  • The Effect of Vibrotactile Stimuli via the SOMATRON on the Identification of Pitch Change by Hearing Impaired Children. Darrow, Alice-Ann // Journal of Music Therapy;Summer1992, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p103 

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of vibrotactile stimuli via the SOMATRONâ„¢ on the identification of pitch change by hearing impaired children. The re- search question was: Can vibrotactile stimuli assist hearing impaired children in developing tonal concepts...

  • Slow It Down to Speed It Up: Breaking Through the Window of Autism. Cozma, Adelina Corina // Canadian Young Scientist Journal;2011, Vol. 2011 Issue 1, p21 

    Recent magnetoencephalographic studies suggest that auditory processing deficits are key in the communication and socialization problems observed in autism. The present research investigates whether artificially modified speech, using the latest digital audio-video technology, can improve the...

  • Longitudinal Study of Speech Perception, Speech, and Language for Children with Hearing Loss in an Auditory-Verbal Therapy Program. Dornan, Dimity; Hickson, Louise; Murdoch, Bruce; Houston, Todd // Volta Review;Fall/Winter2009, Vol. 109 Issue 2/3, p61 

    This study examined the speech perception, speech, and language developmental progress of 25 children with hearing loss (mean Pure-Tone Average IPTA] 79.37 dB HL) in an auditory-verbal therapy program. Children were tested initially and then 21 months later on a battery of assessments. The...

  • "Essentials For Auditory Rehabilitation".  // Exceptional Children;Nov1953, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p91 

    The article presents an overview of the report "Essentials for Auditory Rehabilitation," by Frederick T. Hill and Elizabeth O. Koons published in the September 1952 issue of the periodical "Annals Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology."


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics