This study examined kinematic and acoustic adaptation following the placement of electromagnetic articulography (EMA) sensors, which measure speech articulator movements. Sixteen typical native English speakers had eight EMA sensors attached to obtain kinematic data: three to the tongue (front, mid, and back at midline), one on the lower incisors (jaw), two on the lips (one on each lip at midline), and two reference sensors on the eyeglass frames worn by the participants. They repeated the same sentence stimuli 5 times every two minutes (0, 2, 4, 6 minutes post-attachment) while both acoustic and kinematic data were recorded. Global kinematic measures of tongue activity were computed using articulatory stroke metrics, while point measures were gathered from one syllable in the target sentence. The first two formant frequencies of that syllable were measured. Statistical analysis revealed several significant changes over time and differences between genders. There was a significant increase in the syllable speed and decrease in sentence duration over time. The first formant was significantly lower over time correlating with decreased hull area, representing higher tongue position and smaller movements as speakers adapted to the sensors. Tongue displacement during the syllable production decreased over time; there was not a significant gender difference for displacement measures. The number of articulatory strokes decreased over time, suggesting improved articulatory steadiness. It can be concluded that participants demonstrated faster, smaller movements over time, but it is not clear how much of the change was a result of kinematic adaptation or task familiarity. Future research is needed to compare the direct relationship between kinematic, acoustic, and perceptual measures in response to the attachment of these EMA sensors.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





speech adaptation, speech production measurement, perturbation, speech kinematics, speech acoustics, electromagnetic articulography



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