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

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

Children With Chronic Otitis Media: The Relationship Between Babbling and Onset of Meaningful Speech

Kristine M. Yont, Adele W. Miccio, Lynne Vernon-Feagans

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA

Otitis media (i.e., middle ear effusion) results in a mild-to-moderate hearing loss that places children at risk for difficulties in phonetic development. This prospective longitudinal study examined prelinguistic skills of five children with chronic otitis media (COM) in relation to their onset of meaningful speech. Thirty minute language samples were collected every two weeks and phonetically transcribed (total = 51 samples). Results showed an inverse relationship between the nature of children's babbling inventories and the age of onset of meaningful speech. Four out of the five children had prelinguistic repertoires of commonly occurring sounds and acquired meaningful speech between 12-17 months of age. The fifth child had a restricted babbling inventory and a later onset of meaningful speech (21 months). Results suggest that descriptions of young children's babbling inventories may provide valuable diagnostic measures for the early identification of children with COM who are at risk for delays in lexical development.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yont, Kristine M. / Miccio, Adele W. / Vernon-Feagans, Lynne (1999): "Children with chronic otitis media: the relationship between babbling and onset of meaningful speech", In ICPhS-14, 2181-2184.