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Multi-Dimensional Variation in Adult Speech as a Function of Age

Abstract : We present a multidimensional acoustic report describing variation in speech productions on data collected from 500 francophone adult speakers (20 to 93 y.o.a.) as a function of age. In this cross-sectional study, chronological age is considered as a continuous variable while oral productions, in reading and speech-like tasks, are characterized via 22 descriptors related to voice quality, pitch, vowel articulation and vocalic system organization, time-related measures and temporal organization, as well as maximal performances in speech-like tasks. In a first analysis, we detail how each descriptor varies according to the age of the speaker, for male and female speakers separately. In a second analysis, we explore how chronological age is, in turn, predicted by the combination of all descriptors. Overall, results confirm that with increasing age, speakers show more voice instability, sex-dependent pitch changes, slower speech and articulation rates, slower repetition rates and less complexity effects in maximal performance tasks. A notable finding of this study is that some of these changes are continuous throughout adulthood while other appear either at old age or in early adulthood. Chronological age appears only moderately indexed in speech, mainly through speech rate parameters. We discuss these results in relation with the notion of attrition and with other possible factors at play, in an attempt to better capture the multidimensional nature of the notion of “age”.
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Contributor : Cécile Fougeron Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 11:43:05 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:25:39 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 6:37:16 PM


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Cécile Fougeron, Fanny Guitard-Ivent, Véronique Delvaux. Multi-Dimensional Variation in Adult Speech as a Function of Age. Languages, MDPI, 2021, 6 (4), pp.176. ⟨10.3390/languages6040176⟩. ⟨halshs-03481297⟩



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