A 4-Year Investigation Into Phonetic Inventory Development in Young Cochlear Implant Users Phonetic inventories of 9 children with profoundly impaired hearing who used the 22-electrode cochlear implant (Cochlear Limited) were monitored before implantation and during the first 4 years of implant use. All children were 5 years old or younger at the time of implant. Spontaneous speech samples were collected at regular ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1999
A 4-Year Investigation Into Phonetic Inventory Development in Young Cochlear Implant Users
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tanya A. Serry
    Bionic Ear Institute Melbourne, Australia
  • Peter J. Blamey
    Department of Otolaryngology University of Melbourne Melbourne, Australia
  • Contact author: Peter J. Blamey, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Melbourne, 384-388 Albert Street, East Melbourne, 3002, Melbourne, Australia. Email: p.blamey@medoto.unimelb.edu.au
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1999
A 4-Year Investigation Into Phonetic Inventory Development in Young Cochlear Implant Users
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1999, Vol. 42, 141-154. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4201.141
History: Received May 19, 1998 , Accepted September 29, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1999, Vol. 42, 141-154. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4201.141
History: Received May 19, 1998; Accepted September 29, 1998

Phonetic inventories of 9 children with profoundly impaired hearing who used the 22-electrode cochlear implant (Cochlear Limited) were monitored before implantation and during the first 4 years of implant use. All children were 5 years old or younger at the time of implant. Spontaneous speech samples were collected at regular intervals for each child and analyzed to investigate phone acquisition over the post-implant period. Acquisition was measured using two different criteria. The "targetless" criterion required the child to produce a phonetically recognizable sound spontaneously, and the "target" criterion required the child to produce the phone correctly at least 50% of the time in meaningful words. At 4 years post-implant, 40 out of 44 phones (91%) had reached the targetless criterion, and 29 phones (66%) had reached the target criterion for 5 or more of the children. Over the time of the study 100% of monophthongs, 63% of diphthongs, and 54% of consonants reached the target criterion. The average time taken for a phone to progress from the targetless to target criterion was 15 months. Overall, the data suggest trends in the order of phone acquisition similar those of normally hearing children, although the process of acquisition occurred at a slower rate.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of the children, their families, and the University of Melbourne/ Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Clinic. The authors gratefully acknowledge the work of Maria Grogan, who had a large role in setting up the design for this project. The authors would also like to thank Elizabeth Barker, Shani Dettman, and Karyn Galvin, who collected the language samples referred to in this study. Johanna Barry, Pam Dawson, Chris James, Helen Ried, Bruce Smith, and Emily Tobey provided support and information that influenced ideas reported in this paper. Financial support for the study was provided by the Cooperative Research Centre for Cochlear Implant, Speech and Hearing Research and the National Health and Medical Research Council project grant #970257.
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