The role of experience in the perception of phonetic detail in children's speech: A comparison between speech-language pathologists and clinically untrained listeners

Benjamin Munson, Julie M. Johnson, Jan Edwards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    35 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Purpose: This study examined whether experienced speech language pathologists (SLPs) differ from inexperienced people in their perception of phonetic detail in children's speech. Method: Twenty-one experienced SLPs and 21 inexperienced listeners participated in a series of tasks in which they used a visual-analog scale (VAS) to rate children's natural productions of target /s/-/θ/, /t /-/k /, and /d /-/g/ in word-initial position. Listeners rated the perceived distance between individual productions and ideal productions. Results: The experienced listeners' ratings differed from the inexperienced listeners' ratings in four ways: They had higher intrarater reliability, showed less bias toward a more frequent sound, and were more closely related to the acoustic characteristics of the children's speech. In addition, the experienced listeners' responses were related to a different set of predictor variables. Conclusion: Results suggest that experience working as an SLP leads to better perception of phonetic detail in children's speech. Limitations and future research are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)124-139
    Number of pages16
    JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
    Volume21
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 2012

    Keywords

    • Clinical training
    • Phonological development
    • Speech perception

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