Spectro-temporal features of speech are the basis of phonological comprehension and production in the brain. Thus, these features provide a relevant framework to study speech and language development in children. In this paper, we present a novel framework to study the statistics of spectro-temporal features of speech that are encoded at different timescales. These timescales correspond to different linguistic units such as prosodic or syllabic components. The framework is tested on a speech corpus consisting of 169 speech samples. The paper demonstrates usage of the proposed framework in finding milestones of speech development in children. The results indicate the presence of more number of spectro-temporal features encoded at short timescales in adults as compared to children. However, no significant difference is observed in the spectro-temporal features encoded at long timescales between these groups. The proposed framework is also used in studying the speech impairments of children and adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. The results reveal the absence of some spectro-temporal features encoded at both the timescales and their absence is more prominent in shorter timescales. The suggested framework can be used for studying speech development and impairment in different disorders.
International Journal of Speech Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 8, 2017
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