Spectral moment analysis has helped further our understanding of the spectral properties of obstruent speech production; however, the physiologic correlates of these spectral measures are not well understood. The aim of the present study was to examine the possible correlations between the linguapalatal contact patterns used to produce the stops /t/ and /k/ and the resulting spectral characteristics. Using spectral moment analysis and electropalatography, the real-word productions of eight speakers of American English were investigated. The spectral measures for the stop consonant tokens in the present study were found to be similar to data reported in previous research with adult speakers. The majority of the correlations examined in this study were found to be statistically insignificant, although significant correlations were found between the anterior vertical and posterior vertical indices with spectral variance and spectral skewness, respectively. Despite the significance of these correlations, this did not account for a large proportion of variance in the data. Further analysis using curve estimates revealed significant curvilinear relationships among the data. These findings may indicate that although the anterior-posterior tongue placement and symmetry of linguapalatal contact contribute to the spectral signature of /t/ and /k/ stop consonants, this articulatory movement is only part of a more complex process that may involve aerodynamic factors and the overall shape of the vocal tract.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





spectral moments, electropalatography, obstruents