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.
Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen
UC Louvain (Belgium)