Temporal pattern analysis of voicing in children with and without alterations in sonority feature
ABSTRACT Purpose: to compare acoustic characteristics of stop consonants in speakers of Brazilian Portuguese with and without alterations in speech referring to voicing feature. Methods: out of 66 children assessed, 18 were selected for this study, aged from 9 to 12 years, distributed in Control Group, 8 without language alterations, and Deviation Group, 10 children with alterations in speech, regarding sonority features. Participants with hearing loss, with cognitive deficit, left-handed ones or using neurological medication, were excluded. The following tests were performed: tonal audiometry, ABFW speech test, and a PowerPoint interactive production test, which was developed by the author for this study, with the purpose of comparing the minimal pairs in words. At the end, the acoustic analysis was conducted, by using the PRAAT program. The acoustic characteristics of stops related to total and relative duration of voice onset time were compared in the two groups and analyzed by the Mann-Whitney U test, with a significance level lower than 0.05. Results: significant differences were observed in the duration of the voice onset time between the two groups, such as the increase in absolute voice onset time in the Deviation Group in voiced stops, and reduction in absolute onset time in voiceless stops. The relative voice onset time presented significant differences between the two groups only in voiceless stops. Conclusion: Brazilian Portuguese speakers with alteration in their sonority feature showed an acoustic pattern different from that of other speakers, regarding the voice onset time.