Interarticulator programming in VCV sequences: lip and tongue movements.
This study examined the temporal phasing of tongue and lip movements in vowel-consonant-vowel sequences where the consonant is a bilabial stop consonant /p, b/ and the vowels one of /i, a, u/; only asymmetrical vowel contexts were included in the analysis. Four subjects participated. Articulatory movements were recorded using a magnetometer system. The onset of the tongue movement from the first to the second vowel almost always occurred before the oral closure. Most of the tongue movement trajectory from the first to the second vowel took place during the oral closure for the stop. For all subjects, the onset of the tongue movement occurred earlier with respect to the onset of the lip closing movement as the tongue movement trajectory increased. The influence of consonant voicing and vowel context on interarticulator timing and tongue movement kinematics varied across subjects. Overall, the results are compatible with the hypothesis that there is a temporal window before the oral closure for the stop during which the tongue movement can start. A very early onset of the tongue movement relative to the stop closure together with an extensive movement before the closure would most likely produce an extra vowel sound before the closure. (+info)
Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/: long-term retention of learning in perception and production.
Previous work from our laboratories has shown that monolingual Japanese adults who were given intensive high-variability perceptual training improved in both perception and production of English /r/-/l/ minimal pairs. In this study, we extended those findings by investigating the long-term retention of learning in both perception and production of this difficult non-native contrast. Results showed that 3 months after completion of the perceptual training procedure, the Japanese trainees maintained their improved levels of performance of the perceptual identification task. Furthermore, perceptual evaluations by native American English listeners of the Japanese trainees' pretest, posttest, and 3-month follow-up speech productions showed that the trainees retained their long-term improvements in the general quality, identifiability, and overall intelligibility of their English/r/-/l/ word productions. Taken together, the results provide further support for the efficacy of high-variability laboratory speech sound training procedures, and suggest an optimistic outlook for the application of such procedures for a wide range of "special populations." (+info)
Interarticulator phasing, locus equations, and degree of coarticulation.
A locus equation plots the frequency of the second formant at vowel onset against the target frequency of the same formant for the vowel in a consonant-vowel sequence, across different vowel contexts. It has generally been assumed that the slope of the locus equation reflects the degree of coarticulation between the consonant and the vowel, with a steeper slope showing more coarticulation. This study examined the articulatory basis for this assumption. Four subjects participated and produced VCV sequences of the consonants /b, d, g/ and the vowels /i, a, u/. The movements of the tongue and the lips were recorded using a magnetometer system. One articulatory measure was the temporal phasing between the onset of the lip closing movement for the bilabial consonant and the onset of the tongue movement from the first to the second vowel in a VCV sequence. A second measure was the magnitude of the tongue movement during the oral stop closure, averaged across four receivers on the tongue. A third measure was the magnitude of the tongue movement from the onset of the second vowel to the tongue position for that vowel. When compared with the corresponding locus equations, no measure showed any support for the assumption that the slope serves as an index of the degree of coarticulation between the consonant and the vowel. (+info)
The physiologic development of speech motor control: lip and jaw coordination.
This investigation was designed to describe the development of lip and jaw coordination during speech and to evaluate the potential influence of speech motor development on phonologic development. Productions of syllables containing bilabial consonants were observed from speakers in four age groups (i.e., 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 6-year-olds, and young adults). A video-based movement tracking system was used to transduce movement of the upper lip, lower lip, and jaw. The coordinative organization of these articulatory gestures was shown to change dramatically during the first several years of life and to continue to undergo refinement past age 6. The present results are consistent with three primary phases in the development of lip and jaw coordination for speech: integration, differentiation, and refinement. Each of these developmental processes entails the existence of distinct coordinative constraints on early articulatory movement. It is suggested that these constraints will have predictable consequences for the sequence of phonologic development. (+info)
Phonological grouping is specifically affected in cerebellar patients: a verbal fluency study.
OBJECTIVES: Recent clinical and functional neuroimaging evidence points towards a cerebellar role in verbal production. At present it is not clear how the cerebellum participates in language production. The aim was to investigate the influence of cerebellar lesions on verbal fluency abilities with specific focus on the verbal searching strategies employed by patients with cerebellar damage. METHODS: Twenty five patients with focal or degenerative cerebellar disease and 14 control subjects were tested in a timed verbal fluency task requiring word production under forced (phonemic or semantic) conditions. To analyse the verbal searching strategy employed, semantic and phonemic cluster analyses were also performed. RESULTS: Performances of cerebellar patients were comparable with those of controls in the semantic task; conversely their performances were significantly impaired when tested in the letter task. Cluster analysis results showed that the verbal fluency impairment is linked to specific damage of phonemically related retrieval strategies. CONCLUSION: Cerebellar damage impairs verbal fluency by specifically affecting phonemic rule performances while sparing semantic rule ones. These findings underline the importance of the cerebellar computing properties in strategy development in the linguistic domain. (+info)
Modeling and perception of 'gesture reduction'.
The phenomenon of vowel reduction is investigated by modeling 'gesture reduction' with the use of the Distinctive Region Model (DRM). First, a definition is proposed for the term gesture, i.e. an acoustically efficient command aimed at deforming, in the time domain, the area function of the vocal tract. Second, tests are reported on the perception of vowel-to-vowel transitions obtained with reduced gestures. These tests show that a dual representation of formant transitions is required to explain the reduction phenomenon: the trajectory in the F(1)-F(2) plane and the time course of the formant changes. The results also suggest that time-domain integration of the trajectories constitutes an integral part of the auditory processing of transitions. Perceptual results are also discussed in terms of the acoustic traces of DRM gestures. (+info)
The influence of phonological similarity neighborhoods on speech production.
The influence of phonological similarity neighborhoods on the speed and accuracy of speech production was investigated with speech-error elicitation and picture-naming tasks. The results from 2 speech-error elicitation techniques-the spoonerisms of laboratory induced predisposition technique (B. J. Baars, 1992; B. J. Baars & M. T. Motley, 1974; M. T. Motley & B. J. Baars, 1976) and tongue twisters-showed that more errors were elicited for words with few similar sounding words (i.e., a sparse neighborhood) than for words with many similar sounding words (i.e., a dense neighborhood). The results from 3 picture-naming tasks showed that words with sparse neighborhoods were also named more slowly than words with dense neighborhoods. These findings demonstrate that multiple word forms are activated simultaneously and influence the speed and accuracy of speech production. The implications of these findings for current models of speech production are discussed. (+info)
Central bottleneck influences on the processing stages of word production.
Does producing a word slow performance of a concurrent, unrelated task? In 2 experiments, 108 participants named pictures and discriminated tones. In Experiment 1, pictures were named after cloze sentences; the durations of the word-production stages of lemma and phonological word-form selection were manipulated with high- and low-constraint cloze sentences and high- and low-frequency-name pictures, respectively. In Experiment 2, pictures were presented with simultaneous distractor words; the durations of lemma and phoneme selection were manipulated with conceptually and phonologically related distractors. All manipulations, except the phoneme-selection manipulation, delayed tone-discrimination responses as much as picture-naming responses. These results suggest that early word-production stages--lemma and phonological word-form selection--are subject to a central processing bottleneck, whereas the later stage--phoneme selection--is not. (+info)