Perception of voicing cues by children with early otitis media with and without language impairment
SourceJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 39, 1, (1996), pp. 43-54
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Research on the relationship between early otitis media with effusion (OME), language impairment, and central auditory processing has been equivocal. Identification and discrimination tasks provide us with a sensitive method of assessing speech perception on both an auditory and a phonetic level. The present study examined identification and discrimination of initial bilabial stop consonants differing in voicing by 9-year-old children with a history of severe OME. The groups studied were controlled for language impairment. The ability of these children to perceive major and minor voicing cues was examined using multiple voicing cues. Long-term effects of OME were found for both identification and discrimination performance. Children with OME produced an overall inconsistency in categorization, which suggests poorer phonetic processing. Discrimination was measured by means of "just noticeable differences" (JND). Children with early OME experience demonstrated a greater mean JND than children without early OME experience. Finally, in cases of language impairment with early OME, there was no additional deterioration of auditory or phonetic processing. It appears that either early OME or language impairment can lead to poorer perception.
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