Vowel variability and contrast in Childhood Apraxia of Speech: acoustics and articulation

Giovanna Lenoci, Chiara Celata, Irene Ricci, Anna Chilosi, Vincenzo Barone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phoneme production may be affected by limited speech motor control in Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), with a general instability of acoustic targets across multiple repetitions of speech stimuli. This acoustic and Ultrasound Tongue Imaging (UTI) study shows that increased variability and reduction of contrast in vowel production is found in native Italian speakers with CAS, particularly as far as the height dimension is concerned. The data suggest that vowel production should play a major role in CAS diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, this study shows that a combined acoustic and articulatory approach allows direct observation of lingual dynamics together with an estimation of changes in the acoustic dimension. The two dimensions are shown not to correspond in a straightforward way in the speech of children with CAS, and encourage consideration of articulatory compensation strategies aimed at saving the acoustic identity of vowels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1035
Number of pages25
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  • Italian
  • phonemic contrast
  • phonetic variability
  • ultrasound tongue imaging
  • Vowel production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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