Vocal Development of 9-Month-Old Babies With Cleft Palate This study compared the prelinguistic vocal development of 9-month-old babies with unrepaired cleft palate (n=30) and age-matched peers (n=15). Samples of the babies' spontaneous vocalizations were obtained while they interacted with their primary caregiver during play. The groups were compared on a number of variables including (a) canonical babbling ratios, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2001
Vocal Development of 9-Month-Old Babies With Cleft Palate
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathy L. Chapman
    University of Utah Salt Lake City
  • Mary Hardin-Jones
    University of Wyoming Laramie
  • Julie Schulte
    Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis
  • Kelli Ann Halter
    University of Utah Salt Lake City
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2001
Vocal Development of 9-Month-Old Babies With Cleft Palate
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1268-1283. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/099)
History: Received October 31, 2000 , Accepted August 6, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1268-1283. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/099)
History: Received October 31, 2000; Accepted August 6, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 49

This study compared the prelinguistic vocal development of 9-month-old babies with unrepaired cleft palate (n=30) and age-matched peers (n=15). Samples of the babies' spontaneous vocalizations were obtained while they interacted with their primary caregiver during play. The groups were compared on a number of variables including (a) canonical babbling ratios, (b) percentage of babies who reached the canonical babbling stage by 9 months, (c) syllable and segmental aspects of babbling, and (d) vocal frequency. Results indicated that the babies with cleft palate had smaller canonical babbling ratios than their age-matched peers, with just 57% of the babies with cleft palate reaching the canonical babbling stage by 9 months compared to 93% of the noncleft babies. Although syllable types and length were similar for the two groups, differences were noted for consonant characteristics. The babies with cleft palate had smaller consonant inventories, with fewer stops, glides, and velars noted. Glottals occurred more frequently in the vocalizations of the babies with cleft palate. Finally, no statisti-cally significant difference was noted in the number of vocalizations produced by the two groups. Some possible explanations for why babies with cleft palate are delayed in babbling are explored.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by a research grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (RO1 DC03193). We extend our sincere thanks to the parents and babies who participated in this study. We also thank Sarah Everman, Ashley Woodward, Aletta Sinoff, Monique Mixner, Stefanie Pecker, Beth Salemi, Kathy Porucznik, and Marilyn Watson, who assisted with various aspects of this study. Finally, we are grateful to the editor, associate editor, and reviewers for their insightful editorial critiques.
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