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      Recording and analyzing kinematic data in children and adults with SOLLAR: Sonographic & Optical Linguo-Labial Articulation Recording system

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          Abstract

          Understanding the development of spoken language in young children has become increasingly important for advancing basic theories of language acquisition and for clinical practice. However, such a goal requires refined measurements of speech articulation (e.g., from the tongue), which are difficult to obtain from young children. In recent years though, technological advances have allowed developmental researchers to make significant steps in that direction. For instance, movements of the tongue, an articulator that is essential for spoken language, can now be tracked and recorded in children with ultrasound imaging. This technique has opened novel research avenues in (a)typical language acquisition, enabling researchers to reliably capture what has long remained invisible in the speech of young children. Within this context, we have designed an experimental platform for the recording and the processing of kinematic data: SOLLAR ( Sonographic and Optical Linguo-Labial Articulatory Recording system). The method has been tailored for children, but it is suitable for adults. In the present article, we introduce the recording environment developed to record over 100 children and 30 adults within SOLLAR. We then describe SOLLAR’s data processing framework, providing examples of data visualization and a summary of strengths and limitations.

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          The effects of coarticulation and morphological complexity on the production of English coda clusters: Acoustic and articulatory evidence from 2-year-olds and adults using ultrasound

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            Praat: Doing phonetics by computer (version 6.0.18)

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              What anticipatory coarticulation in children tells us about speech motor control maturity

              Purpose This study aimed to evaluate the role of motor control immaturity in the speech production characteristics of 4-year-old children, compared to adults. Specifically, two indices were examined: trial-to-trial variability, which is assumed to be linked to motor control accuracy, and anticipatory extra-syllabic vowel-to-vowel coarticulation, which is assumed to be linked to the comprehensiveness, maturity and efficiency of sensorimotor representations in the central nervous system. Method Acoustic and articulatory (ultrasound) data were recorded for 20 children and 10 adults, all native speakers of Canadian French, during the production of isolated vowels and vowel-consonant-vowel (V1-C-V2) sequences. Trial-to-trial variability was measured in isolated vowels. Extra-syllabic anticipatory coarticulation was assessed in V1-C-V2 sequences by measuring the patterns of variability of V1 associated with variations in V2. Acoustic data were reported for all subjects and articulatory data, for a subset of 6 children and 2 adults. Results Trial-to-trial variability was significantly larger in children. Systematic and significant anticipation of V2 in V1 was always found in adults, but was rare in children. Significant anticipation was observed in children only when V1 was /a/, and only along the antero-posterior dimension, with a much smaller magnitude than in adults. A closer analysis of individual speakers revealed that some children showed adult-like anticipation along this dimension, whereas the majority did not. Conclusion The larger trial-to-trial variability and the lack of anticipatory behavior in most children—two phenomena that have been observed in several non-speech motor tasks—support the hypothesis that motor control immaturity may explain a large part of the differences observed between speech production in adults and 4-year-old children, apart from other causes that may be linked with language development.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                1868-6354
                Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology
                Ubiquity Press
                1868-6354
                13 October 2020
                2020
                : 11
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Linguistics department, University of Potsdam, DE
                [2 ]Haskins Laboratories, US
                [3 ]Department of Electrical Engineering, École de technologie supérieure, CA
                [4 ]Département de linguistique, Laboratoire de Phonétique, UQAM, CA
                [5 ]Center for Research on Brain, Language, and Music, CA
                Article
                10.5334/labphon.241
                Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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