Much of speech kinematics research is conducted by attaching a device to the articulators. However very little research has been conducted to determine what influence these devices may have on the perceptual and acoustic characteristics of speech. This study examined the effect of placing a small magnet on the tongue of ten normal adult speakers while reading a sentence containing /s/ and "sh" in initial, medial and final position. Two different placements of 10 and 15 mm from the tip of the tongue were analyzed. Data were taken before magnet placement, immediately after magnet placement, after 5 minutes of conversation, and after an additional 10 minutes of conversation. The acoustic output was analyzed using spectral moments analysis (spectral mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis). Changes in spectral mean and variance were found for "sh" as a result of magnet placement, which was characterized by an interaction effect between condition and the word position of the target fricative. In addition, significant changes in spectral mean were found for /s/ and "sh" as a result of magnet position. Although results from the present study indicated that there were some acoustic changes in fricative productions with a marker attached at midline, the spectral changes were not consistent or pervasive, and speakers were able to adapt to the presence of the magnet in a relatively short amount of time.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





magnet, tongue, spectral moments analysis, tongue, acoustic measures