This thesis examined the time course of speech adaptation prior to data collection when using an electromagnetic articulograph to measure speech articulator movements. The stimulus sentence and electromagnetic sensor placement were designed to be sensitive to changes in the fricatives /s/ and /ʃ/. Twenty native English speakers read aloud stimulus sentences before the attachment of six electromagnetic sensors, immediately after attachment, and again at 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes after attachment. Participants read aloud continuously between recordings to encourage adaptation to the presence of the sensors. Audio recordings were rated by 20 native English listeners who were not part of the production study. After listening to five practice samples, these participants rated 150 stimuli (31 repeat samples) using a visual analog scale (VAS) with the endpoints labeled as precise and imprecise. An acoustic analysis of the recordings was done by segmenting the fricatives /s/ and /ʃ/ from the longer recording and computing spectral center of gravity and spectral standard deviation in Hertz. Durations of /s/, /ʃ/ and the sentence were also measured. Results of both perceptual and acoustic analysis revealed a change in speech precision over time, with all post attachment recordings receiving lower perceptual scores. Precision ratings beyond the ten minute recording remained steady. It can be concluded from the results that participants reached a height of adaptation after 10 minutes of talking with kinematic recording sensors attached, and that after the attachment of sensors, speech production precision did not at any point return to pre attachment levels.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





speech adaptation, speech production measurement, perturbation, perceptual evaluation, speech kinematics, speech acoustics