Anticipatory and carry-over nasal coarticulation in the speech of children and adults

Academic Article


  • Producing /n/ requires a lingual constriction to be formed and the velopharyngeal port (VPP) to be opened. This study examined interarticulator timing in the speech of adults and children aged 5 and 10 years. A new acoustic method was developed to determine the time at which VPP opening began during vowels spoken in the context of /d-n/, and VPP closing reached completion in vowels spoken in the context of /n-d/. Adults and children alike nasalized most of the vowels in the /d-n/ context. This suggested that the children's speech was not more 'segmental' than adults'. It suggested, further, that nasalizing vowels in a /d-n/ context is a natural speech process that need not be learned by yound children. The children, like the adults, nasalized most of the vowels spoken in the context of /n-d/. The lack of significant between-group differences, taken together with several other findings of the study, is consistent with the view that the temporal domain of carry-over nasal coarticulation is determined largely by the time needed to close the VPP (i.e, by inertial properties of the speech production mechanism).
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Flege JE
  • Start Page

  • 525
  • End Page

  • 536
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 4