14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Characteristics of Vocalizations of Deaf and Hearing Infants in the First Year of Life

Chris J. Clement, Florien J. Koopmans-van Beinum

Institute of Phonetic Sciences/IFOTT, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The influence of hearing on sound production of infants is studied by comparing the vocalizations of six deaf and six hearing infants in the first year of life. Results indicated clear differences between deaf and hearing infants, even within the first six months of life. The difference was significant regarding such aspects as number of utterances, utterance duration, and place of articulation. For hearing infants, place of articulation of consonant-like segments develops systematically within the first year. None of the deaf infants studied showed a development of place of articulation similar to that of the hearing infants. Moreover, the number and the duration of utterances differed significantly between the two groups. Deaf infants produced more utterances than the hearing infants and at 3.5 months the average sound duration was significantly longer for the hearing infants than for the deaf infants. These findings strongly suggest that already in this early stage of speech development, sound production might not solely be determined by anatomical and physical constraints, but also by auditory perception.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Clement, Chris J. / Koopmans-van Beinum, Florien J. (1999): "Characteristics of vocalizations of deaf and hearing infants in the first year of life", In ICPhS-14, 1929-1932.