The aim of the project is to get a better understanding of the strategies that children use to clarify their speech when speaking in situations in which communication is difficult (e.g., in a noisy school cafeteria or when talking to a child who has a cochlear implant). Even though some aspects of how we speak are determined by physical characteristics (e.g. size of our vocal tract), we have quite a degree of control over the speech patterns that we produce and we use this control to clarify our speech if the person we are speaking to has difficulty in understanding us. The way in which adult speakers clarify their speech is beginning to be quite well described and understood (see e.g., results from our previous project: Hazan & Baker, 2011) but little work has been done on clear speech produced by children and on how clear speech strategies develop in the first 10 to 15 years of life. This study will contribute to this understanding.
Hazan, V. & Baker, R. (2011). Acoustic-phonetic characteristics of speech produced to counter adverse listening conditions. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130(4), 2139-2152.