Journal Title or Book Title
Proceedings of the 47th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development
© 2023 Suzanne V.H. van der Feest, Genevieve Medina, Evgeniya Maryutina, Ingrid Davidovich, Theresa Bloder, Isabelle Barrière, and Valerie L. Shafer. Proceedings of the 47th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, ed. Paris Gappmayr and Jackson Kellogg, 241-254. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
During the first few years of life, children attune their perception to the speech sound categories of their native language. Attunement to native-language vowels has been shown as early as 6 months of age (e.g., Kuhl et al., 1992). This is considered a prerequisite for the development of the native-language phonological system, which is used for optimizing both word recognition (perception) as well as the articulation of sounds in running speech (production). While we know that the formation of the phonological system is well underway in the first year of life, native-language speech sounds take longer to be mastered in production. For example, while around 3 years of age children’s vowel productions enable listeners to access the intended vowel targets, allowing for successful communication, the production of the acoustic-phonetic cues in vowels is not yet adultlike even at age 3. Several factors are considered to be at play here, including the ongoing maturation of the structural articulatory system (or in other words, children’s physical growth), the development and fine-tuning of motor and gestural control, and the ongoing development of the phonological system.
Van der Feest, Suzanne V.H.; Medina, Genevieve; Maryutina, Evgeniya; Davidovich, Ingrid; Bloder, Theresa; Barriere, Isabelle; and Shafer, Valerie L., "Acoustic Correlates of Central Vowels in Russian-English and Spanish-English Bilingual Children" (2023). Faculty Works: Communication Sciences Disorders. 9.