Effects of Stimulus Bandwidth on the Imitation of English Fricatives by Normal-Hearing Children Purpose Recent studies from the authors' laboratory have suggested that reduced audibility in the high frequencies (because of the bandwidth of hearing instruments) may play a role in the delays in phonological development often exhibited by children with hearing impairment. The goal of the current study was to extend previous ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2008
Effects of Stimulus Bandwidth on the Imitation of English Fricatives by Normal-Hearing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia G. Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Kanae Nishi
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Sangsook Choi
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dawna E. Lewis
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Brenda M. Hoover
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Darcia Dierking
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Andrew Lotto
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Contact author: Patricia G. Stelmachowicz, Boys Town National Research Hospital, 555 N. 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131. E-mail: stelmach@boystown.org.
  • Sangsook Choi is now at the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University.
    Sangsook Choi is now at the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2008
Effects of Stimulus Bandwidth on the Imitation of English Fricatives by Normal-Hearing Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1369-1380. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0115)
History: Received June 1, 2007 , Accepted February 23, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2008, Vol. 51, 1369-1380. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0115)
History: Received June 1, 2007; Accepted February 23, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose Recent studies from the authors' laboratory have suggested that reduced audibility in the high frequencies (because of the bandwidth of hearing instruments) may play a role in the delays in phonological development often exhibited by children with hearing impairment. The goal of the current study was to extend previous findings on the effect of bandwidth on fricatives/affricates to more complex stimuli.

Method Nine fricatives/affricates embedded in 2-syllable nonsense words were filtered at 5 and 10 kHz and presented to normal-hearing 6- to 7-year-olds who repeated words exactly as heard. Responses were recorded for subsequent phonetic and acoustic analyses.

Results Significant effects of talker gender and bandwidth were found, with better performance for the male talker and the wider bandwidth condition. In contrast to previous studies, relatively small (5%) mean bandwidth effects were observed for /s/ and /z/ spoken by the female talker. Acoustic analyses of stimuli used in the previous and the current studies failed to explain this discrepancy.

Conclusions It appears likely that a combination of factors (i.e., dynamic cues, prior phonotactic knowledge, and perhaps other unidentified cues to fricative identity) may have facilitated the perception of these complex nonsense words in the current study.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by Grants R01 DC04300 and P30 DC04662 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
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