Dissociations in the development of articulatory timing : Implications for representation and control in speech production

Melissa Redford (University of Oregon)
20 January 2017, 14h0015h30

Articulatory timing refers to the temporal coordination of speech articulators to achieve motor goals in sequence. Given this definition, timing can be thought of either as a motor speech skill or as a language behavior. Whereas stable coordination patterns emerge with neuromotor maturation and speech motor practice ; goal sequencing emerges with the acquisition of language. Although this neat division within timing behavior that references « speech » versus « language » is compatible with a traditional performance/competence distinction, it is at odds with the interactionist perspective adopted in behavior-focused research on the acquisition of speech-language. Nonetheless, the division provides a good characterization of findings from two developmental studies we conducted recently. In particular, the findings from one study suggest a dissociation in the representation and execution of temporal patterns within words. The findings from the other suggest differential development of schwa reduction and coarticulation in DET+N sequences. In this talk, I will present both studies and endeavor to resolve the seeming contradiction between these findings and an interactionist perspective by incorporating them into a developmentally-sensitive model of speech production.

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