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Spectral features of voiceless fricatives produced by Australian English-speaking children

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conference contribution
posted on 2020-10-20, 06:11 authored by Casey Ford, Marija Tabain
This paper examines some spectral features of voiceless fricatives /s, ʃ, f, θ/ produced by Australian English-speaking children (5-13 years). It finds that sex differences are evident in fricative production, despite the unlikelihood of sex dimorphism in the vocal tract. These differences are especially evident in the sibilant fricatives /s/ and /ʃ/. Girls produce sibilants with higher spectral mean and lower spectral skewness than boys. Boys produce /f/ with a higher
spectral mean and lower skewness than girls, while spectral mean and skewness for /θ/ are very similar between sexes. Spectral mean of /s/ and /ʃ/ declines significantly with age, while /f/ and /θ/ show no change. This work builds upon our current knowledge of sociophonetic variation in Australian English, as well as our knowledge of children’s acquisition and use of socially-structured variation.


Publication Date



Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences


Calhoun S Escudero P Tabain M Warren P


Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association

Place of publication

Canberra, Australia


5p. (p. 3105-3109)



Name of conference

19th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences


Melbourne, Australia

Starting Date


Finshing Date


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