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Acoustic and perceptual evaluation of category goodness of /t/ and /k/ in typical and misarticulated child speech
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Speech Communication and Technology.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Speech Communication and Technology.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Speech Communication and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4628-3769
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The topic of the present investigation is the perceptual and acoustic nature of children’s successful and unsuccessful efforts at producing /t/ and /k/, with a specific aim at exploring perceptual sensitivity to phonetic detail, and the extent to which this sensitivity is reflected in the acoustic domain. Recordings were collected from children with a speech sound disorder (SSD), who misarticulated one of the target plosives. These recordings were compared to correct productions recorded from children with typical speech development (TD). Perceptual responses were registered with regards to a visual-analogue scale, ranging from “clear [t]” to “clear [k]”. Acoustic features were described by means of spectral moments and discrete cosine transformation analysis. The perceptual evaluation showed that “clear substitutions” of [t] for /k/, as well as of [k] for /t/, were rated as being less prototypical than correct productions. Hence, human listeners exhibit perceptual sensitivity to covert contrast. Moreover, even among target-appropriate productions of /t/ and /k/, items produced by children with SSD were rated as less prototypical than those produced by TD peers. Although both acoustic analysis methods discriminated between the gross categories /t/ and /k/, none of them exhibited the same sensitivity to phonetic detail as the human listeners.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143101OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143101DiVA: diva2:705407
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-03-17 Created: 2014-03-17 Last updated: 2014-03-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The /k/s, the /t/s, and the inbetweens: Novel approaches to examining the perceptual consequences of misarticulated speech
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The /k/s, the /t/s, and the inbetweens: Novel approaches to examining the perceptual consequences of misarticulated speech
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis comprises investigations of the perceptual consequences of children’s misarticulated speech – as perceived by clinicians, by everyday listeners, and by the children themselves. By inviting methods from other areas to the study of speech disorders, this work demonstrates some successful cases of cross-fertilization. The population in focus is children with a phonological disorder (PD), who misarticulate /t/ and /k/. A theoretical assumption underlying this work is that errors in speech production are often paralleled in perception, e.g. that children base their decision on whether a speech sound is a /t/ or a /k/ on other acoustic-phonetic criteria than those employed by proficient language users. This assumption, together with an aim at stimulating self-monitoring in these children, motivated two of the included studies. Through these studies, new insights into children’s perception of their own speech were achieved – insights entailing both clinical and psycholinguistic implications. For example, the finding that children with PD generally recognize themselves as the speaker in recordings of their own utterances lends support to the use of recordings in therapy, to attract children’s attention to their own speech production. Furthermore, through the introduction of a novel method for automatic correction of children’s speech errors, these findings were extended with the observation that children with PD tend to evaluate misarticulated utterances as correct when just having produced them, and to perceive inaccuracies better when time has passed. Another theme in this thesis is the gradual nature of speech perception related to phonological categories, and a concern that perceptual sensitivity is obscured in descriptions based solely on discrete categorical labels. This concern is substantiated by the finding that listeners rate “substitutions” of [t] for /k/ as less /t/-like than correct productions of [t] for intended /t/. Finally, a novel method of registering listener reactions during the continuous playback of misarticulated speech is introduced, demonstrating a viable approach to exploring how different speech errors influence intelligibility and/or acceptability. By integrating such information in the prioritizing of therapeutic targets, intervention may be better directed at those patterns that cause the most problems for the child in his or her everyday life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xiii, 105 p.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2014:03
Keyword
speech perception, speech disorders, speech synthesis, speech analysis
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Research subject
Speech and Music Communication
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143102 (URN)978-91-7595-050-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-04-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Note

QC 20140317

Available from: 2014-03-17 Created: 2014-03-17 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved

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House, David

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