Auditory Processing in Specific Language Impairment (SLI): Relations With the Perception of Lexical and Phrasal Stress Purpose We investigated whether impaired acoustic processing is a factor in developmental language disorders. The amplitude envelope of the speech signal is known to be important in language processing. We examined whether impaired perception of amplitude envelope rise time is related to impaired perception of lexical and phrasal stress in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 2015
Auditory Processing in Specific Language Impairment (SLI): Relations With the Perception of Lexical and Phrasal Stress
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan Richards
    Centre for Neuroscience in Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Usha Goswami
    Centre for Neuroscience in Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Susan Richards: sr486@cam.ac.uk
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Lizbeth Finestack
    Associate Editor: Lizbeth Finestack×
  • Copyright © 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 2015
Auditory Processing in Specific Language Impairment (SLI): Relations With the Perception of Lexical and Phrasal Stress
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1292-1305. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-13-0306
History: Received November 15, 2013 , Revised May 4, 2014 , Accepted May 29, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2015, Vol. 58, 1292-1305. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-13-0306
History: Received November 15, 2013; Revised May 4, 2014; Accepted May 29, 2015

Purpose We investigated whether impaired acoustic processing is a factor in developmental language disorders. The amplitude envelope of the speech signal is known to be important in language processing. We examined whether impaired perception of amplitude envelope rise time is related to impaired perception of lexical and phrasal stress in children with specific language impairment (SLI).

Method Twenty-two children aged between 8 and 12 years participated in this study. Twelve had SLI; 10 were typically developing controls. All children completed psychoacoustic tasks measuring rise time, intensity, frequency, and duration discrimination. They also completed 2 linguistic stress tasks measuring lexical and phrasal stress perception.

Results The SLI group scored significantly below the typically developing controls on both stress perception tasks. Performance on stress tasks correlated with individual differences in auditory sensitivity. Rise time and frequency thresholds accounted for the most unique variance. Digit Span also contributed to task success for the SLI group.

Conclusions The SLI group had difficulties with both acoustic and stress perception tasks. Our data suggest that poor sensitivity to amplitude rise time and sound frequency significantly contributes to the stress perception skills of children with SLI. Other cognitive factors such as phonological memory are also implicated.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council award to Susan Richards, supervised by Usha Goswami.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access