Children's Consonant Inventories After Extended Cochlear Implant Use Qualitative descriptions of the consonant inventories of 12 children who have used cochlear implants for at least 5 years are provided, together with description of sound correspondences between children's systems and the ambient language (English). Productions of English words were elicited in a picture-naming task, and a consonant inventory for ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2003
Children's Consonant Inventories After Extended Cochlear Implant Use
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steven B. Chin
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Contact author: Steven B. Chin, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology-HNS, 699 West Drive, RR044, Indianapolis, IN 46202–5119. E-mail: schin@iupui.edu
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2003
Children's Consonant Inventories After Extended Cochlear Implant Use
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 849-862. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/066)
History: Received July 2, 2002 , Accepted February 25, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 849-862. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/066)
History: Received July 2, 2002; Accepted February 25, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

Qualitative descriptions of the consonant inventories of 12 children who have used cochlear implants for at least 5 years are provided, together with description of sound correspondences between children's systems and the ambient language (English). Productions of English words were elicited in a picture-naming task, and a consonant inventory for each child was determined. Results showed that the consonant inventories of children who use cochlear implants are not simply subsets of the inventory of the ambient language, but rather unique sets of segments that may include consonants not in the ambient inventory. Comparison of the inventories of oral communication users and total communication users revealed qualitative differences between the 2 groups, based on the presence or absence of both English and non-English sound segments. Inventories of oral communication users tended to contain more English segments (e.g., alveolar fricatives, velar stops, velar nasals) than did the inventories of total communication users. Conversely, specific non-English segments, such as uvular stops, tended to occur in the inventories of total communication users more than in inventories of oral communication users. Therefore, a complete understanding of the phonological systems of children who use cochlear implants depends on full accounts of their segment inventories. Such understanding may affect decisions regarding habilitation procedures, insofar as successful acquisition of a linguistic system involves not only the inclusion of all ambient sound segments, but also the exclusion of all nonambient ones.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health to Indiana University (R03DC03852) and from the Indiana University Strategic Directions Fund to the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine. Parts of this study were presented at the Eighth Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children, Universal City, CA (March 2001). I am grateful to Cara Lento Kaiser for assistance with data acquisition and phonetic transcription, and I appreciate discussions with Michael S. Vitevitch, Lorin Lachs, and Derek M. Houston regarding several aspects of this research.
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