5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

The Development of Perceptual Cue-Weighting in Children Aged 6 to 12

Valerie Hazan, Sarah Barrett

University College London, UK

Development in the ability to categorise a range of phonemic contrasts was examined in 85 children aged 6 to 12 and thirteen adults using synthetic continua presented in identification tests. This study aimed to investigate: (1) whether there would be age effects in the sharpness of categorisation; (2) whether sharpness of categorisation would differ across phonemic contrasts and (3) whether children aged 6 or more would give greater perceptual weighting than adults to acoustic cues characterised by rapid spectral change. Significant differences in identification function gradients were found between the 6;0-7;6 year olds and children aged 9;6 to 12;6, and between all children and adults. Sharper identification function gradients were obtained for stop place and voicing contrasts than for fricative place and voicing contrasts. There was no strong support for the view that children aged 6 or older gave greater weight to dynamic cues than adults.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hazan, Valerie / Barrett, Sarah (1998): "The development of perceptual cue-weighting in children aged 6 to 12", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0488.