15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Development in Utterance Structures of Deaf and Hearing Infants

Florien J. Koopmans-van Beinum (1), Lillian Doppen (2)

(1) University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(2) Catholic University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Both deaf and hearing infants produce many speech-like sounds in their first years of life. Hearing children in American-English language environments have shown to follow specific preferred patterns of combining consonant-like and vowel-like sounds when canonically babbling. In the present study concerning infants in the Dutch language environment, we investigated whether they show the same preferred patterns. In particular this paper concentrates on the question as to how far deaf or severely hearing-impaired children differ from their hearing peers with respect to their utterance structures. Utterances of five hearing and five deaf Dutch children from 10.5 to 17.5 months of age were analyzed for a number of speech characteristics, like phonation and articulation type, number of syllables, utterance structure, place of articulation and preferred combinations of vowel-like and consonant-like elements.
   Results show that although deaf children produce many multi-syllabic utterances, alternations of CV movements are scarce compared to hearing children. Moreover the preferred patterns of the Dutch children deviate from those of American-English children.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Koopmans-van Beinum, Florien J. / Doppen, Lillian (2003): "Development in utterance structures of deaf and hearing infants", In ICPhS-15, 1033-1036.