Quantifying the robustness of the English sibilant fricative contrast in children

Jeffrey Holliday, Patrick F. Reidy, Mary E. Beckman, Jan Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Four measures of children’s developing robustness of phonological contrast were compared to see how they correlated with age, vocabulary size, and adult listeners’ correctness ratings. Method: Word-initial sibilant fricative productions from eighty-one 2- to 5-year-old children and 20 adults were phonetically transcribed and acoustically analyzed. Four measures of robustness of contrast were calculated for each speaker on the basis of the centroid frequency measured from each fricative token. Productions that were transcribed as correct from different children were then used as stimuli in a perception experiment in which adult listeners rated the goodness of each production. Results: Results showed that the degree of category overlap, quantified as the percentage of a child’s productions whose category could be correctly predicted from the output of a mixed-effects logistic regression model, was the measure that correlated best with listeners’ goodness judgments. Conclusions: Even when children’s productions have been transcribed as correct, adult listeners are sensitive to within-category variation quantified by the child’s degree of category overlap. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between the age of a child and adults’ sensitivity to different types of within-category variation in children’s speech.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-637
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

listener
Logistic Models
Vocabulary
vocabulary
stimulus
rating
logistics
Robustness
Fricatives
Sibilants
regression
Listeners
experiment
Research
Overlap
Goodness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

Quantifying the robustness of the English sibilant fricative contrast in children. / Holliday, Jeffrey; Reidy, Patrick F.; Beckman, Mary E.; Edwards, Jan.

In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol. 58, No. 3, 01.06.2015, p. 622-637.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Holliday, Jeffrey ; Reidy, Patrick F. ; Beckman, Mary E. ; Edwards, Jan. / Quantifying the robustness of the English sibilant fricative contrast in children. In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 2015 ; Vol. 58, No. 3. pp. 622-637.
@article{32c41574c64544d199baad3706f67abf,
title = "Quantifying the robustness of the English sibilant fricative contrast in children",
abstract = "Purpose: Four measures of children’s developing robustness of phonological contrast were compared to see how they correlated with age, vocabulary size, and adult listeners’ correctness ratings. Method: Word-initial sibilant fricative productions from eighty-one 2- to 5-year-old children and 20 adults were phonetically transcribed and acoustically analyzed. Four measures of robustness of contrast were calculated for each speaker on the basis of the centroid frequency measured from each fricative token. Productions that were transcribed as correct from different children were then used as stimuli in a perception experiment in which adult listeners rated the goodness of each production. Results: Results showed that the degree of category overlap, quantified as the percentage of a child’s productions whose category could be correctly predicted from the output of a mixed-effects logistic regression model, was the measure that correlated best with listeners’ goodness judgments. Conclusions: Even when children’s productions have been transcribed as correct, adult listeners are sensitive to within-category variation quantified by the child’s degree of category overlap. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between the age of a child and adults’ sensitivity to different types of within-category variation in children’s speech.",
author = "Jeffrey Holliday and Reidy, {Patrick F.} and Beckman, {Mary E.} and Jan Edwards",
year = "2015",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0090",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
pages = "622--637",
journal = "Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research",
issn = "1092-4388",
publisher = "American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantifying the robustness of the English sibilant fricative contrast in children

AU - Holliday, Jeffrey

AU - Reidy, Patrick F.

AU - Beckman, Mary E.

AU - Edwards, Jan

PY - 2015/6/1

Y1 - 2015/6/1

N2 - Purpose: Four measures of children’s developing robustness of phonological contrast were compared to see how they correlated with age, vocabulary size, and adult listeners’ correctness ratings. Method: Word-initial sibilant fricative productions from eighty-one 2- to 5-year-old children and 20 adults were phonetically transcribed and acoustically analyzed. Four measures of robustness of contrast were calculated for each speaker on the basis of the centroid frequency measured from each fricative token. Productions that were transcribed as correct from different children were then used as stimuli in a perception experiment in which adult listeners rated the goodness of each production. Results: Results showed that the degree of category overlap, quantified as the percentage of a child’s productions whose category could be correctly predicted from the output of a mixed-effects logistic regression model, was the measure that correlated best with listeners’ goodness judgments. Conclusions: Even when children’s productions have been transcribed as correct, adult listeners are sensitive to within-category variation quantified by the child’s degree of category overlap. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between the age of a child and adults’ sensitivity to different types of within-category variation in children’s speech.

AB - Purpose: Four measures of children’s developing robustness of phonological contrast were compared to see how they correlated with age, vocabulary size, and adult listeners’ correctness ratings. Method: Word-initial sibilant fricative productions from eighty-one 2- to 5-year-old children and 20 adults were phonetically transcribed and acoustically analyzed. Four measures of robustness of contrast were calculated for each speaker on the basis of the centroid frequency measured from each fricative token. Productions that were transcribed as correct from different children were then used as stimuli in a perception experiment in which adult listeners rated the goodness of each production. Results: Results showed that the degree of category overlap, quantified as the percentage of a child’s productions whose category could be correctly predicted from the output of a mixed-effects logistic regression model, was the measure that correlated best with listeners’ goodness judgments. Conclusions: Even when children’s productions have been transcribed as correct, adult listeners are sensitive to within-category variation quantified by the child’s degree of category overlap. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between the age of a child and adults’ sensitivity to different types of within-category variation in children’s speech.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84934784378&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84934784378&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0090

DO - 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0090

M3 - Article

VL - 58

SP - 622

EP - 637

JO - Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

JF - Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

SN - 1092-4388

IS - 3

ER -