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Speech Planning and Dynamics

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Susanne Fuchs, Melanie Weirich, Daniel Pape and Pascal Perrier

What do we do when we are about to utter speech? On which linguistic units do we rely? How do these units evolve from childhood to adulthood, or across time for a given language? How do we assemble these units under the influences of syntactic, phonological and prosodic rules? Do we plan the whole sequence at once? Do we plan the movements of the tongue, jaw, and lips underlying speech in the same way that we plan other movements? What tools have scientists developed to investigate these questions using observation of articulatory and acoustic signals? This book addresses these issues in eight chapters. Written by specialists in the field, these chapters provide the readers with a large overview of the literature, and illustrate the research challenges using selected examples of experimental studies.

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Global and detailed speech representations in early language acquisition

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PIERRE HALLÉ ALEJANDRINA CRISTIA Abstract: We review data and hypotheses dealing with the mental representations for perceived and produced speech that infants build and use over the course of learn- ing a language. In the early stages of speech perception and vocal production, before the emergence of a receptive or a productive lexicon, the dominant picture emerging from the literature suggests rather non-analytic representations based on units of the size of the syllable: Young children seem to parse speech into syllable-sized units in spite of their ability to detect sound equivalence based on shared phonetic features. Once a productive lexicon has emerged, word form representations are initially rather underspecified phonetically but gradually become more specified with lexical growth, up to the phoneme level. The situation is different for the receptive lexicon, in which phonetic specification for consonants and vowels seem to follow different develop- mental paths. Consonants in stressed syllables are somewhat well specified already at the first signs of a receptive lexicon, and become even better specified with lexical growth. Vowels seem to follow a different developmental path, with increasing flex- ibility throughout lexical development. Thus, children come to exhibit a consonant- vowel asymmetry in lexical representations, which is clear in adult representations. 1 Introduction To begin with, what do we mean by speech representations? We simply refer to the mental representations that speakers/listeners of a given lan- guage have built during acquisition and use to produce and understand spoken utterances of their language....

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