Feasibility of Acoustic Analysis to Measure Fricative Speech Characteristics in Jamaican-Creole and English-speaking Bilingual Preschool Children

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Molly Berns
Karla Washington


By Molly Berns, Speech Language Hearing Sciences

Advisor: Karla Washington

Presentation ID: 69

Abstract: Bilingual children who speak both Jamaican-Creole and English are an understudied population in the Communication Sciences and Disorders field. The overall goal of this project is to conduct a feasibility task to determine clinical adaptability and usability of acoustic analysis to discriminate linguistic and dialectical differences versus Speech Sound Disorder in a multilingual population. If feasible, the training and protocols utilized in this study could be adapted to create a valuable resource for Speech-Language Pathologists assessing and treating multilingual children. For this study Praat, an acoustic analysis software, will be used to measure frequencies of sounds produced by bilingual preschool-aged (3-5 years old) Jamaican children. Audio from previously recorded speech assessments will be extracted into words and then individual fricatives, defined as productions of sounds characterized by constriction and constant airflow (i.e., /f/, /s/, and /v/). Praat will then measure spectral center of gravity to determine the average frequency of each fricative produced on 30 samples from children previously diagnosed with both typically developing speech and Speech Sound Disorders. Results from spectral center of gravity measurements will provide an average range of frequency measures for both typical and disordered speech sound productions in the given population. This study will provide knowledge regarding clinical feasibility of learning and utilizing acoustic analysis to measure speech sound productions through specific training and protocols.

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Category: Community & Cultural Connections