This study investigated the relation of symptoms of vocal fatigue to acoustic variables reflecting type of voice production and the effects of vocal loading. Seventy-nine female primary school teachers volunteered as subjects. Before and after a working day, (1) a 1-minute text reading sample was recorded at habitual loudness and loudly (as in large classroom), (2) a prolonged phonation on [a:] was recorded at habitual speaking pitch and loudness, and (3) a questionnaire about voice quality, ease, or difficulty of phonation and tiredness of throat was completed. The samples were analyzed for average fundamental frequency (F0), sound pressure level (SPL), and phonation type reflecting alpha ratio (SPL [1-5 kHz]-SPL [50 Hz-1 kHz]). The vowel samples were additionally analyzed for perturbation (jitter and shimmer). After a working day, F0, SPL, and alpha ratio were higher, jitter and shimmer values were lower, and more tiredness of throat was reported. The average levels of the acoustic parameters did not correlate with the symptoms. Increase in jitter and mean F0 in loud reading correlated with tiredness of throat. The results seem to suggest that, at least among experienced vocal professionals, voice production type had little relevance from the point of view of vocal fatigue reported. Differences in the acoustic parameters after a vocally loading working day mainly seem to reflect increased muscle activity as a consequence of vocal loading.
This study provides a systematic description of French consonant acquisition in a large cohort of pre-school aged children: 156 children aged 20-53 months participated in a picture-naming task. Five analyses were conducted to study consonant acquisition: (1) consonant inventory, (2) consonant accuracy, (3) consonant acquisition, (4) a comparison of consonant inventory to consonant acquisition, and (5) a comparison to English cross-sectional data. Results revealed that more consonants emerge at an earlier age in word initial position, followed by medial position, and then word final position. Consonant accuracy underwent the greatest changes before the age of 36 months, and achieved a relative plateau towards 42 months. The acquisition of consonants revealed that four early consonants were acquired before the age of 36 months (i.e., /t, m, n, z/); 12 intermediate consonants were acquired between 36 and 53 months (i.e., /p, b, d, k, g, ?, f, v, [symbol in text], l, w, ?/); and four consonants were acquired after 53 months (/s, ?, ?, j/). In comparison to English data, language specific patterns emerged that influence the order and pace of phonological acquisition. These findings highlight the important role of language specific developmental data in understanding the course of consonant acquisition.
This paper focuses on the acquisition of locative prepositional phrases in L1 Norwegian. We report on two production experiments with children acquiring Norwegian as their first language and compare the results to similar experiments conducted with Russian children. The results of the experiments show that Norwegian children at age 2 regularly produce locative utterances lacking overt prepositions, with the rate of preposition omission decreasing significantly by age 3. Furthermore, our results suggest that phonologically strong and semantically unambiguous locative items appear earlier in Norwegian children's utterances than their phonologically weak and semantically ambiguous counterparts. This conclusion is confirmed by a corpus study. We argue that our results are best captured by the Underspecified P Hypothesis (UPH; Mitrofanova, 2017), which assumes that, at early stages of grammatical development, the underlying structure of locative utterances is underspecified, with more complex functional representations emerging gradually based on the input. This approach predicts that the rate of acquisition in the domain of locative PPs should be influenced by the lexical properties of individual language-specific grammatical elements (such as frequency, morphological complexity, phonological salience, or semantic ambiguity). Our data from child Norwegian show that this prediction is borne out. Specifically, the results of our study suggest that phonologically more salient and semantically unambiguous items are mastered earlier than their ambiguous and phonologically less salient counterparts, despite the higher frequency of the latter in the input (Clahsen et al., 1996).
We present a Finland-Swedish adaptation of the Sweden-Swedish group screening test for dyslexia for adults and young adults DUVAN (Lundberg & Wolff, 2003) together with normative data from 143 Finland-Swedish university students. The test is based on the widely held phonological deficit hypothesis of dyslexia and consists of a self-report and five subtests tapping phonological working memory, phonological representation, phonological awareness, and orthographic skill. We describe the test adaptation procedure and show that the internal reliability of the new test version is comparable to the original one. Our results indicate that the language background (Swedish, Finnish, early simultaneous Swedish-Finnish bilingualism) should be taken into account when interpreting the results on the Finland-Swedish DUVAN test. We show that the FS-DUVAN differentiates a group of students with dyslexia diagnosis from normals, and that a low performance on the FS-DUVAN correlates with a positive self-report on familial dyslexia and with a history of special education in school. Finally, we analyze the sensitivity and specificity of the FS-DUVAN for dyslexia among university students.
The HINT provides an efficient and reliable method of assessing speech intelligibility in quiet and in noise by using an adaptive strategy to measure speech reception thresholds for sentences, thus avoiding ceiling and floor effects that plague traditional measures performed at fixed presentation levels A strong need for such a test within the Canadian Francophone population, led us to develop a French version of the HINT. Here we describe the development of this test. The Canadian French version is composed of 240-recorded sentences, equated for intelligibility, and cast into 12 phonemically balanced 20-sentence lists. Average headphone SRTs, measured with 36 adult Canadian Francophone native speakers with normal hearing, were 16.4 dBA in quiet, -3.0 dBA SNR in a 65 dBA noise front condition and -11.4 dBA SNR in a 65 dBA noise side condition. Reliability was established by means of within-subjects standard deviation of repeated SRT measurements over different lists and yielded values of 2.2 and 1.1 dB for the quiet and noise conditions, respectively.
Research on specific language impairment (SLI) has primarily focused on the acquisition of nouns and verbs. Less attention has been given to other content-word classes, such as adjectives and adverbs. This article investigates adjective production by 7- to 10-year-old Russian-speaking children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers and focuses on the production of antonymous adjectives and degree markers in an elicitation experiment. The results show that degree morphology is more impaired in SLI than antonymy. In antonym production, children with SLI were able to catch up with their TD peers by age 8. In the domain of degree, however, the SLI group lagged behind the TD controls across all ages studied. Error analysis indicates that language-impaired children have particular difficulty with agreement inflection and affixal negations. They also substitute adjectives with specific meanings by more general terms. The implications of this study for the morphological-richness hypothesis are discussed.
A relatively large sample of individuals (N = 240) ranging from 7 to 70 years were studied with the dichotic listening (DL) technique as a measure of language lateralization. Two questions were asked: (a) Is there a developmental effect for the right-ear advantage (REA) with age? (b) Is there a developmental effect for attentional modulation of the REA? The participants were all right-handed, healthy individuals tested in Sweden and Norway. The stimuli were dichotic presentations of consonant-vowel (CV) syllable pairs. There were 3 different attentional conditions: nonforced (NF) attention, with no specific instructions about focusing of attention; forced-right (FR) attention, with instructions to focus attention on the right-ear stimulus; and forced-left (FL) attention, with instructions to focus attention on the left-ear stimulus. The results showed a REA in all age groups, except for the 9-year-olds, in the NF condition. In the FR condition, all age groups showed a REA. The youngest age groups did not, however, increase the REA to the same degree as the older age groups, as indicated by the significant age x ear interaction. In the FL condition, all age groups, with the exception of the youngest groups, showed a left-ear advantage (LEA). It is concluded that the REA effect in DL is subject to developmental effects and that attentional effects on laterality also develop with increasing age.
The over-representation of reading and spelling difficulties in children with complex communication needs has been well documented. However, most of the studies reported have indicated that at least some children using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can achieve and demonstrate effective literacy skills, highlighting the heterogeneity of this group. This paper presents findings from a cross-linguistic study of 14 Swedish and 14 Irish children with cerebral palsy who use AAC, outlining their performance on a range of phonological awareness, reading, and spelling tasks developed for the purposes of the study. All participants were referred to the study as functioning in the average range of intellectual ability. Of the 28 participants, eight were classified as good readers, on the basis of their success on tasks involving connected text; while 10 presented with single-word reading skills; and 10 were categorized as non-readers. This paper explores the similarities and differences within and across these groups, in terms of associated skills and experiences. While analyses of group data suggests some common abilities and difficulties, exploration of individual profiles highlights the heterogeneity of the participants' profiles, suggesting a need for detailed individual assessment and interventions.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of electropalatography (EPG) as a method for diagnostic analysis of the [s] sound and also to make a multiple analysis of the production of the normal Swedish [s] sound in various contexts. Eleven dental students participated. EPG registration, optoelectronic recording of jaw movements, and acoustic registration of a test phrase were made simultaneously. A speech perceptual test was also made. There were four separate recording sessions. Except for at session I, subjects wore an EPG palate. At session II they were not adapted to it, in contrast to the later occasions. The EPG appeared to be a valid method for investigating the [s] sound. In general, EPG and mandibular movement patterns were similar between sessions, and the sound quality normal throughout. At session II, however, the tongue groove was wider, the mandibular movements smaller, and the [s] quality somewhat deteriorated. [s] in various contexts had different tongue groove widths but similar high average mandibular position. To prevent speech and especially [s] sound problems when constructing prosthetic devices, it is important to advance our knowledge of [s] sound production.
PURPOSE: This study examined 2 schedules of treatment for phonemic awareness. METHOD: Forty-one 5- to 6-year-old kindergartners, including 22 English learners, with low letter-name and first-sound knowledge received 11 hr of phonemic awareness treatment: concentrated (CP, 3x/wk to December), dispersed (DP, 1x/wk to March), and dispersed vocabulary control (CON). RESULTS: English learners performed similarly to native English speakers. Participants with moderate deficits in letter-names and first sounds showed significant benefits after both treatment conditions. Three times the intensity had no additional effect on phonemic awareness. CP continued to increase significantly during the no-treatment interval. In March, CP and DP were significantly greater than CON, but the 2 conditions did not differ other than with a minor DP advantage on last sounds. By May, there were no significant differences among the 3 conditions in meeting grade-level expectations for phoneme segmenting. CONCLUSION: For phonemic awareness, over the course of a school year, with concomitant classroom instruction, the gains made from short, intense treatment were similar to those made from continuous weekly treatment. At-risk kindergartners with moderate deficits benefited more than those with mild deficits. Children, particularly those with mild deficits, may improve substantially with only classroom instruction and incidental self-regulatory gains from treatment for another area.