Comparing Tongue Positioning by Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children During Vowel Production Glossometric measures of tongue positions of 10 normal-hearing (NH) and 10 profoundly hearing-impaired (HI) children were compared during production of the eight vowels /i,I,ε,æ,u,U,o,a/. The NH subjects used tongue positions with distinct vertical distances from the hard palate and discrete tongue shapes to distinguish the front vowels and the back ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1992
Comparing Tongue Positioning by Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children During Vowel Production
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul A. Dagenais
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Paula Critz-Crosby
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Currently affiliated with the University of South Alabama, Mobile.
    Currently affiliated with the University of South Alabama, Mobile.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1992
Comparing Tongue Positioning by Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children During Vowel Production
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1992, Vol. 35, 35-44. doi:10.1044/jshr.3501.35
History: Received June 13, 1990 , Accepted March 5, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1992, Vol. 35, 35-44. doi:10.1044/jshr.3501.35
History: Received June 13, 1990; Accepted March 5, 1991

Glossometric measures of tongue positions of 10 normal-hearing (NH) and 10 profoundly hearing-impaired (HI) children were compared during production of the eight vowels /i,I,ε,æ,u,U,o,a/. The NH subjects used tongue positions with distinct vertical distances from the hard palate and discrete tongue shapes to distinguish the front vowels and the back vowels. The HI subjects produced vowels using a reduced vertical range and singular flat, high-back tongue shape. Token-to-token variability was greater for the HI subjects. Listener identifications of the vowels produced by the HI subjects fell in three categories: highly variable responses to /i/, low vowels for /I,ε,æ,a/, and back vowels for /u,U,o/. The centralized, generally undifferentiated tongue positions and listener identifications for the HI subjects coincided with suppositions made from previous perceptual, acoustic, and physiologic findings.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) for their cooperation in completing this project, and specifically Jan Stiff and Judy Johnston of ASD for their assistance in data collection. Appreciation is also extended to Stephen C. Smith and Martin McCutcheon for hardware and software development, Donna Neff for systems maintenance, Sherry Sutphin and Glenda Clyde for manufacturing pseudopalates and assisting with data reductions, and James Flege for assistance in data analysis protocols.
Portions of this paper were presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, November 1989.
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