Fricative Contrast and Coarticulation in Children With and Without Speech Sound Disorders Purpose The purpose of this study was, first, to expand our understanding of typical speech development regarding segmental contrast and anticipatory coarticulation, and second, to explore the potential diagnostic utility of acoustic measures of fricative contrast and anticipatory coarticulation in children with speech sound disorders (SSD). Method In ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 22, 2017
Fricative Contrast and Coarticulation in Children With and Without Speech Sound Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Edwin Maas
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Marja-Liisa Mailend
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Edwin Maas: emaas@temple.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Solomon
    Editor: Nancy Solomon×
  • Associate Editor: Christopher Dromey
    Associate Editor: Christopher Dromey×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Special Issue: Selected Papers From the 2016 Conference on Motor Speech—Clinical Science and Implications / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 22, 2017
Fricative Contrast and Coarticulation in Children With and Without Speech Sound Disorders
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 649-663. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0110
History: Received June 16, 2016 , Revised August 22, 2016 , Accepted October 9, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, June 2017, Vol. 26, 649-663. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0110
History: Received June 16, 2016; Revised August 22, 2016; Accepted October 9, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was, first, to expand our understanding of typical speech development regarding segmental contrast and anticipatory coarticulation, and second, to explore the potential diagnostic utility of acoustic measures of fricative contrast and anticipatory coarticulation in children with speech sound disorders (SSD).

Method In a cross-sectional design, 10 adults, 17 typically developing children, and 11 children with SSD repeated carrier phrases with novel words with fricatives (/s/, /ʃ/). Dependent measures were 2 ratios derived from spectral mean, obtained from perceptually accurate tokens. Group analyses compared adults and typically developing children; individual children with SSD were compared to their respective typically developing peers.

Results Typically developing children demonstrated smaller fricative acoustic contrast than adults but similar coarticulatory patterns. Three children with SSD showed smaller fricative acoustic contrast than their typically developing peers, and 2 children showed abnormal coarticulation. The 2 children with abnormal coarticulation both had a clinical diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech; no clear pattern was evident regarding SSD subtype for smaller fricative contrast.

Conclusions Children have not reached adult-like speech motor control for fricative production by age 10 even when fricatives are perceptually accurate. Present findings also suggest that abnormal coarticulation but not reduced fricative contrast is SSD-subtype–specific.

Supplemental Materials S1: https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5103070. S2 and S3: https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5106508

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant K01-DC010216, awarded to Edwin Maas. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We also thank participants and their families, and members of the SLAB Lab. Thanks also to Kimberly Farinella for clinical evaluations, to Ben Munson for sharing his Praat scripts, and to Diane Ohala for providing pictures of the alien creatures used in this study. A version of this article was presented at the 2016 Conference on Motor Speech (Newport Beach, CA, March 2016).
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