Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense: Jennifer D. Clarke

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:30pm - 3:30pm

GSE 011

Dissertation Proposal Defense


Development of Speech Motor Control for Language: Motor Analysis from Phonetic Transcription

Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Learning, Cognition, Instruction, and Development concentration of the Doctor of Philosophy program. 

Committee: Lorraine McCune (Chair), Greg Camilli, Rory DePaolis, Saundra M. Tomlinson-Clarke



Research on the emergence of speech production has yielded numerous theoretical possibilities (e.g. Vihman and Croft, 2007; Evans, 2007; Kent, 1992; MacNeilage and Davis, 1990; McCune, 2008). The production of speech sounds heard in babble and first words has typically been accounted for by innate rules and the idea of mental representation. Speech motor development has had little theoretical influence in understanding how children come to produce the sounds produced in babble and first words. Speech motor development is generally identified as being part of more general neuro-maturational process.

Recent theories of language development present an emergent model of speech production which suggest that limitations in speech motor skills influence the sounds produced in the emergence of speech production (e.g. McAllister-Brun and Tessier, 2016; Nip and Green, 2010). Language emerges as a dynamic process and includes many variables, one of which is the developmental sequence of the speech motor system. Among the many variables necessary for speech to emerge, an understanding of the relationship between the sequential development of the speech motor system and speech sound production in the acquisition of linguistic skills is the least understood. At this point, no studies have directly investigated the sequential development of the speech motor system in the emergence of spoken language.

This research questions addressed in this study are (1) What is the developmental sequence of control of the speech motor system from babble to production of words? and (2) What impact does the sequence of control of speech motor control have on linguistic development from babble to words?


Who to contact:

Ericka Diaz