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The /k/s, the /t/s, and the inbetweens: Novel approaches to examining the perceptual consequences of misarticulated speech
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Speech Communication and Technology. (KTH Speech, Music and Hearing)
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis comprises investigations of the perceptual consequences of children’s misarticulated speech – as perceived by clinicians, by everyday listeners, and by the children themselves. By inviting methods from other areas to the study of speech disorders, this work demonstrates some successful cases of cross-fertilization. The population in focus is children with a phonological disorder (PD), who misarticulate /t/ and /k/. A theoretical assumption underlying this work is that errors in speech production are often paralleled in perception, e.g. that children base their decision on whether a speech sound is a /t/ or a /k/ on other acoustic-phonetic criteria than those employed by proficient language users. This assumption, together with an aim at stimulating self-monitoring in these children, motivated two of the included studies. Through these studies, new insights into children’s perception of their own speech were achieved – insights entailing both clinical and psycholinguistic implications. For example, the finding that children with PD generally recognize themselves as the speaker in recordings of their own utterances lends support to the use of recordings in therapy, to attract children’s attention to their own speech production. Furthermore, through the introduction of a novel method for automatic correction of children’s speech errors, these findings were extended with the observation that children with PD tend to evaluate misarticulated utterances as correct when just having produced them, and to perceive inaccuracies better when time has passed. Another theme in this thesis is the gradual nature of speech perception related to phonological categories, and a concern that perceptual sensitivity is obscured in descriptions based solely on discrete categorical labels. This concern is substantiated by the finding that listeners rate “substitutions” of [t] for /k/ as less /t/-like than correct productions of [t] for intended /t/. Finally, a novel method of registering listener reactions during the continuous playback of misarticulated speech is introduced, demonstrating a viable approach to exploring how different speech errors influence intelligibility and/or acceptability. By integrating such information in the prioritizing of therapeutic targets, intervention may be better directed at those patterns that cause the most problems for the child in his or her everyday life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , xiii, 105 p.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2014:03
Keyword [en]
speech perception, speech disorders, speech synthesis, speech analysis
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Speech and Music Communication
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143102ISBN: 978-91-7595-050-1 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143102DiVA: diva2:705409
Public defence
2014-04-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140317

Available from: 2014-03-17 Created: 2014-03-17 Last updated: 2017-03-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Children's recognition of their own recorded voice: influence of age and phonological impairment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's recognition of their own recorded voice: influence of age and phonological impairment
2013 (English)In: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, ISSN 0269-9206, E-ISSN 1464-5076, Vol. 27, no 1, 33-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Children with phonological impairment (PI) often have difficulties perceiving insufficiencies in their own speech. The use of recordings has been suggested as a way of directing the child's attention toward his/her own speech, despite a lack of evidence that children actually recognize their recorded voice as their own. We present two studies of children's self-voice identification, one exploring developmental aspects, and one exploring potential effects of having a PI. The results indicate that children from 4 to 8 years recognize their recorded voice well (around 80% accuracy), regardless of whether they have a PI or not. A subtle change in this ability from 4 to 8 years is observed that could be linked to a development in short-term memory. Clinically, one can indeed expect an advantage of using recordings in therapy; this could constitute an intermediate step toward the more challenging task of online self-monitoring.

Keyword
child phonological disorders, speech perception, short-term memory
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-110046 (URN)10.3109/02699206.2012.735744 (DOI)000312245100003 ()2-s2.0-84871255932 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20130110

Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Children's perception of their synthetically corrected speech production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's perception of their synthetically corrected speech production
2014 (English)In: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, ISSN 0269-9206, E-ISSN 1464-5076, Vol. 28, no 6, 373-395 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We explore children's perception of their own speech - in its online form, in its recorded form, and in synthetically modified forms. Children with phonological disorder (PD) and children with typical speech and language development (TD) performed tasks of evaluating accuracy of the different types of speech stimuli, either immediately after having produced the utterance or after a delay. In addition, they performed a task designed to assess their ability to detect synthetic modification. Both groups showed high performance in tasks involving evaluation of other children's speech, whereas in tasks of evaluating one's own speech, the children with PD were less accurate than their TD peers. The children with PD were less sensitive to misproductions in immediate conjunction with their production of an utterance, and more accurate after a delay. Within-category modification often passed undetected, indicating a satisfactory quality of the generated speech. Potential clinical benefits of using corrective re-synthesis are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare, 2014
Keyword
phonological disorder, speech disorder, speech perception, speech acquisition
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Speech and Music Communication
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143099 (URN)10.3109/02699206.2013.868928 (DOI)000334938500001 ()2-s2.0-84899103269 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140611

Available from: 2014-03-17 Created: 2014-03-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Acoustic and perceptual evaluation of category goodness of /t/ and /k/ in typical and misarticulated child speech
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Acoustic and perceptual evaluation of category goodness of /t/ and /k/ in typical and misarticulated child speech
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The topic of the present investigation is the perceptual and acoustic nature of children’s successful and unsuccessful efforts at producing /t/ and /k/, with a specific aim at exploring perceptual sensitivity to phonetic detail, and the extent to which this sensitivity is reflected in the acoustic domain. Recordings were collected from children with a speech sound disorder (SSD), who misarticulated one of the target plosives. These recordings were compared to correct productions recorded from children with typical speech development (TD). Perceptual responses were registered with regards to a visual-analogue scale, ranging from “clear [t]” to “clear [k]”. Acoustic features were described by means of spectral moments and discrete cosine transformation analysis. The perceptual evaluation showed that “clear substitutions” of [t] for /k/, as well as of [k] for /t/, were rated as being less prototypical than correct productions. Hence, human listeners exhibit perceptual sensitivity to covert contrast. Moreover, even among target-appropriate productions of /t/ and /k/, items produced by children with SSD were rated as less prototypical than those produced by TD peers. Although both acoustic analysis methods discriminated between the gross categories /t/ and /k/, none of them exhibited the same sensitivity to phonetic detail as the human listeners.

National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143101 (URN)
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-03-17 Created: 2014-03-17 Last updated: 2014-03-17Bibliographically approved
4. Correlates to intelligibility in deviant child speech – comparing clinical evaluations to audience response system-based evaluations by untrained listeners
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Correlates to intelligibility in deviant child speech – comparing clinical evaluations to audience response system-based evaluations by untrained listeners
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of Interspeech 2013, Lyon, France, 2013, 3717-3721 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The severity of speech impairments can be measured in different ways; whereas some metrics focus on quantifying the specific speech deviations, other focus on the functional effects of the speech impairment, e.g. by rating intelligibility. This report describes the application of a previously untested method to the domain of deviant child speech; an audience response system-based method where listeners’ responses are continuously registered during playback of speech stimuli. 20 adult listeners were given the task of clicking a button whenever they perceived something unintelligible or deviant during playback of child speech stimuli. The untrained listeners’ responses were compared to clinical evaluations of the same speech samples, revealing a strong correlation between the two types of measures. Furthermore, patterns of how listeners’ different experiences influence their clicking responses were explored. Qualitative analysis linking listener clicks to triggering events in the speech samples demonstrates the potential of the click method as an instrument for identification of features in children’s speech that are most detrimental to intelligibility – insights that may have important implications for the selection of speech targets in clinical intervention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lyon, France: , 2013
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-137390 (URN)2-s2.0-84906214991 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Interspeech 2013
Note

tmh_import_13_12_13, tmh_id_3858. QC 20140317

Available from: 2013-12-13 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2014-03-17Bibliographically approved

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