JSLHR-20-00077richtsmeier_SuppS1.pdf (92.07 kB)

Perception and production (Richtsmeier & Moore, 2020)

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journal contribution
posted on 22.09.2020 by Peter T. Richtsmeier, Michelle W. Moore
Purpose: Perceptual learning and production practice are basic mechanisms that children depend on to acquire adult levels of speech accuracy. In this study, we examined perceptual learning and production practice as they contributed to changes in speech accuracy in 3- and 4-year-old children. Our primary focus was manipulating the order of perceptual learning and production practice to better understand when and how these learning mechanisms interact.
Method: Sixty-five typically developing children between the ages of 3 and 4 years were included in the study. Children were asked to produce CVCCVC (C = consonant, V = vowel) nonwords like /bozjəm/ and /tʌvtʃəp/ that were described as the names of make-believe animals. All children completed two separate experimental blocks: a control block in which participants heard each nonword once and repeated it, and a test block in which the perceptual input frequency of each nonword varied between 1 and 10. Half of the participants completed a control–test order; half completed a test–control order.
Results: Greater accuracy was observed for nonwords produced in the second experimental block, reflecting a production practice effect. Perceptual learning resulted in greater accuracy during the test for nonwords that participants heard 3 times or more. However, perceptual learning did not carry over to control productions in the test–control design, suggesting that it reflects a kind of temporary priming. Finally, a post hoc analysis suggested that the size of the production practice effect depended on the age of acquisition of the consonants that comprised the nonwords.
Conclusions: The study provides new details about how perceptual learning and production practice interact with each other and with phonological aspects of the nonwords, resulting in complex effects on speech accuracy and learning of form-referent pairs. These findings may ultimately help speech-language pathologists maximize their clients’ improvement in therapy.

Supplemental Material S1. Analysis of children who repeated words during perceptual exposure; Analyses related to the inclusionary and descriptive measures.

Richtsmeier, P. T., & Moore, M. W. (2020). Perceptual learning and production practice differentially affect how children produce novel words. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00077