Speech Timing in Mandarin Speaking Children and Adults in Taiwan

  • 吳 竹茵

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present study conducted two experiments to further answer whether there are developmental contextual or gender differences in speech timing in children and adults in Taiwan The first experiment recruited 20 preschool children 40 elementary school children and 20 undergraduate students as our participants whose age ranged from three to 23 (half male and half female) Cross-sectional data with three different speech contexts: standardized repeating task read speech and spontaneous conversations were examined using Praat Next longitudinal data from four children at age levels of 3 5 7 9 11 13 years of age were collected The first 20 speaking turns in the spontaneous data from children and adult participants were examined then analyzed their speaking rate articulation rate and pause ratio In Experiment 1 significant group contrasts in speaking rate articulation rate and pause ratio were found In general speech rates increased and pause ratio decreased with age However an increase was found in pause ratio from Group 2 to Group 3 In addition contextual differences were found significant in all three rate measures between spontaneous speech and the other two contexts (i e TCSIM and read speech) Most of the participant exhibited higher speech rates in spontaneous speech than in read speech and TCSIM However children in Group 2 showed the lowest speech rates and the highest pause ratio in read speech Significant contrasts were found in articulation rate and pause ratio between males and females The male participants produced higher articulation rate and lower pause ratio than the female ones did In Experiment 2 speaking rate and articulation rate increased and pause ratio decreased with age However children at age 9 exhibited higher pause ratio than at age 7 This finding corresponded to the findings in Experiment 1 Additionally individual differences in speech tempo in the four child participants in Experiment 2 were also compared and discussed The findings in the present study could be applied to clinical practices where clinicians could use the normative speech rate data as reference for assessment intervention or treatment goal Additionally the results from the present study could also serve as reference for a control group in the future studies that focus on comparing speech rates in children with speech disorders and typically developing children Finally the Mandarin speech rate data could also be applied to Mandarin teaching and learning
Date of Award2018 Aug 31
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLi-Mei Chen (Supervisor)

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