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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

New from Oxford University Press!


Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Individual Variation in Infant Speech Perception: Implications for language acquisition theories Add Dissertation
Author: Alejandrina Cristia Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Purdue University, Linguistics Program
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonetics; Language Acquisition;
Director(s): Alexander Francis
Mary Beckman
Amanda Seidl
Lisa Goffman

Abstract: To what extent does language acquisition recruit domain-general processing
mechanisms? In this dissertation, evidence concerning this question is
garnered from the study of individual differences in infant speech
perception and their predictive value with respect to language development
in early childhood. In the first experiment, variation in the processing of
a linguistic unit at six months was found to predict vocabulary development
at around 2 years of age, whereas processing of a non-unit did not. In the
second experiment, one possible source for that variation in linguistic
performance was assessed, namely information processing abilities. Infants
were tested on the same linguistic task as in Experiment 1, and on a
well-researched task that yields a measure of information processing in
infancy. No covariance was found between measures gathered in the
linguistic and the information processing tasks. In a third experiment, the
impact of variation in the infants' input on their speech processing was
investigated. Correlations between infants’ performance in a speech sound
discrimination task and acoustic characteristics of their primary
caregivers' speech were investigated. Two types of acoustic characteristics
were measured; some were not relevant to the speech sound being tested, but
are known to influence infants' attention and learning (pitch and pitch
modulations); others were specific to the contrast tested. Results suggested
that only those characteristics relevant to the contrast being tested affected
infants' speech processing. In sum, these three experiments and extensive
literature reviews suggest specific ways in which domain-general factors (such
as attentional mechanisms) are involved in infants' development of linguistic
knowledge. While these factors appear to play a role in the learning of
phonological units, their influence may not be evident once linguistic categories
are already established.