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Dev Sci. 2010 Sep 1;13(5):722-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00930.x.

Lexical and articulatory interactions in children's language production.

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Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Heavilon Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


Traditional models of adult language processing and production include two levels of representation: lexical and sublexical. The current study examines the influence of the inclusion of a lexical representation (i.e. a visual referent and/or object function) on the stability of articulation as well as on phonetic accuracy and variability in typically developing children and children with specific language impairment (SLI). A word learning paradigm was developed so that we could compare children's production with and without lexical representation. The variability and accuracy of productions were examined using speech kinematics as well as traditional phonetic accuracy measures. Results showed that phonetic forms with lexical representation were produced with more articulatory stability than phonetic forms without lexical representation. Using more traditional transcription measures, a paired lexical referent generally did not influence segmental accuracy (percent consonant correct and type token ratio). These results suggest that lexical and articulatory levels of representation are not completely independent. Implications for models of language production are discussed.

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