The Phonological Abilities of Cantonese-Speaking Children With Hearing Loss Little is known about the acquisition of phonology by children with hearing loss who learn languages other than English. In this study, the phonological abilities of 12 Cantonese-speaking children (ages 4:2 to 6:11) with prelingual hearing impairment are described. All but 3 children had almost complete syllable-initial consonant repertoires; all ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1994
The Phonological Abilities of Cantonese-Speaking Children With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara J. Dodd
    Department of Speech and Hearing University of Queensland St. Lucia, Australia
  • Lydia K. H. So
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of Hong Kong
  • Contact author: Barbara J. Dodd, Department of Speech and Hearing, University of Queensland, St. Lucia 4072, Australia.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1994
The Phonological Abilities of Cantonese-Speaking Children With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 671-679. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.671
History: Received January 4, 1993 , Accepted December 30, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 671-679. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.671
History: Received January 4, 1993; Accepted December 30, 1993

Little is known about the acquisition of phonology by children with hearing loss who learn languages other than English. In this study, the phonological abilities of 12 Cantonese-speaking children (ages 4:2 to 6:11) with prelingual hearing impairment are described. All but 3 children had almost complete syllable-initial consonant repertoires; all but 2 had complete syllable-final consonant and vowel repertoires; and only 1 child failed to produce all nine tones. Children’s perception of single words was assessed using sets of words that included tone, consonant, and semantic distractors. Although the performance of the subjects was not age appropriate, they nevertheless most often chose the target, with most errors observed for the tone distractor. The phonological rules used included those that characterize the speech of younger hearing children acquiring Cantonese (e.g., cluster reduction, stopping, and deaspiration). However, most children also used at least one unusual phonological rule (e.g., frication, addition, initial consonant deletion, and/or backing). These rules are common in the speech of Cantonesespeaking children diagnosed as phonologically disordered. The influence of the ambient language on children’s patterns of phonological errors is discussed.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to the children and parents for their cooperation; to D. Ho and B. Chan for their enthusiasm and skills; and to the CRCG, University of Hong Kong, and the Australian Research Council for financial assistance.
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