Date of this Version
Published in Child Development 2013; doi: 10.1111/cdev.12052
Age-related increases of speaking rate are not fully understood, but have been attributed to gains in biologic factors and learned skills that support speech production. This study investigated developmental changes in speaking rate and articulatory kinematics of participants aged 4 (N = 7), 7 (N = 10), 10 (N = 9), 13 (N = 7), 16 (N = 9) years, and young adults (N = 11) in speaking tasks varying in task demands. Speaking rate increased with age, with decreases in pauses and articulator displacements but not increases in articulator movement speed. Movement speed did not appear to constrain the speaking. Rather, age-related increases in speaking rate are due to gains in cognitive and linguistic processing and speech motor control.