Index of content:
Volume 134, Issue 5, November 2013
- SPEECH PRODUCTION 
Inter-speaker articulatory variability during vowel-consonant-vowel sequences in twins and unrelated speakers134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4822480View Description Hide Description
The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the amount of inter-speaker variability in the articulation of monozygotic twin pairs (MZ), dizygotic twin pairs (DZ), and pairs of unrelated twins with the goal of examining in greater depth the influence of physiology on articulation. Physiological parameters are assumed to be very similar in MZ twin pairs in contrast to DZ twin pairs or unrelated speakers, and it is hypothesized that the speaker specific shape of articulatory looping trajectories of the tongue is at least partly dependent on biomechanical properties and the speaker's individual physiology. By means of electromagnetic articulography (EMA), inter-speaker variability in the looping trajectories of the tongue back during /VCV/ sequences is analyzed. Results reveal similar looping patterns within MZ twin pairs but in DZ pairs differences in the shape of the loop, the direction of the upward and downward movement, and the amount of horizontal sliding movement at the palate are found.
134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4824160View Description Hide Description
This study investigates the effect of age and gender on the internal structure, cross-category distance, and discriminability of phonemic categories for two contrasts varying in fricative place of articulation (/s/-/∫/) and stop voicing (/b/-/p/) in word-initial tokens spoken by adults and normally developing children aged 9–14 yr. Vast between- and within-talker variability was observed with 16% of speakers exhibiting some degree of overlap between phonemic categories—a possible contribution to the range of talker intelligibility found in the literature. Females of all ages produced farther and thus more discriminable categories than males, although gender-marking for fricative between-category distance did not emerge until approximately 11 yr of age. Children produced farther yet also much more dispersed categories than adults with increasing discriminability with age, such that by age 13, children's categories were no less discriminable than those of adults. However, children's ages did not predict category distance or dispersion, indicating that convergence on adult-like category structure must occur later in adolescence.
Clarity in communication: “Clear” speech authenticity and lexical neighborhood density effects in speech production and perception134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4824120View Description Hide Description
Speech produced in the context of real or imagined communicative difficulties is characterized by hyperarticulation. Phonological neighborhood density (ND) conditions similar patterns in production: Words with many neighbors are hyperarticulated relative to words with fewer; Hi ND words also show greater coarticulation than Lo ND words [e.g., Scarborough, R. (2012). “Lexical similarity and speech production: Neighborhoods for nonwords,” Lingua 122(2), 164–176]. Coarticulatory properties of “clear speech” are more variable across studies. This study examined hyperarticulation and nasal coarticulation across five real and simulated clear speech contexts and two neighborhood conditions, and investigated consequences of these details for word perception. The data revealed a continuum of (attempted) clarity, though real listener-directed speech (Real) differed from all of the simulated styles. Like the clearest simulated-context speech (spoken “as if to someone hard-of-hearing”—HOH), Real had greater hyperarticulation than other conditions. However, Real had the greatest coarticulatory nasality while HOH had the least. Lexical decisions were faster for words from Real than from HOH, indicating that speech produced in real communicative contexts (with hyperarticulation and increased coarticulation) was perceptually better than simulated clear speech. Hi ND words patterned with Real in production, and Real Hi ND words were clear enough to overcome the dense neighborhood disadvantage.