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By Orin Hargraves

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Title: Speech and Sign Perception in Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants
Written By: Marcel Giezen
Series Title: LOT dissertation series

Although a cochlear implant (CI) restores access to sound and speech for
profoundly deaf children, there is substantial inter-individual variation in
outcomes and many children with a CI continue to be delayed in their spoken
language development. This suggests that they may benefit from alternative
modes of communication such as sign language. However, the role of signed
input in the education of children with a CI is much debated. The aim of the
present thesis was two-folded: to explore underlying processes in speech
perception that may help to explain inter-individual variation in outcomes, and
to obtain insight into the effects of signed input on spoken language abilities.
To that end, this thesis investigates speech and sign perception in 5- to 6-
year old children with a CI. More specifically, it examines and interrelates the
use of acoustic and visual cues in phonetic categorization and the
representation of phonetic contrasts in novel words and signs. Additionally,it
investigates the effects of bimodal (i.e., simultaneously spoken and signed)
input on speech perception.The analyses show that children with a CI have
fuzzy boundaries between sound categories and have difficulties to represent
phonetic detail in novel words. Weakly-specified auditory phonological-lexical
representations likely negatively impact speech processing. Importantly,
signing experience did not negatively affect their speech perception and
bimodal input seemed to even facilitate spoken word recognition. Together,
these findings form an argument for bilingualism in a spoken and a signed
language as the ultimate goal in the rehabilitation and education of children
with a CI.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Language Acquisition
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460930584