The effects of linguistic complexity on children's and adults' motor programming of speech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The role of syntactic/semantic structure in the motor programming of speech by 5-year-olds, 8-year olds, and adults was investigated. Subjects repeated sentences, each at maximum rate, on numerous, consecutive trials. Linguistically simple and complex sentence types, matched on rhythm, were selected for each age. On a current model, linguistic structure determines programming unit size with increased size resulting in shorter and less variable repetition durations. Repetition durations were found to be shorter for simple than for complex sentences at all ages. However, linguistic complexity affected durational variability only for adults. A new model is proposed to account for these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-375
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage and Speech
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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