Research team

Centre for Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics (CLiPS)

Expertise

Language acquisition in children with hearing disorders

Language development after pediatric brainstem implantation. 01/04/2019 - 30/03/2020

Abstract

This project aims to examine the oral language development of congenital deaf children with auditory brainstem implants. Thus far, only a handful of studies examined the oral language skills of children and adolescents with ABI, without going into linguistic detail. In this project, the development of their speech production will be investigated into linguistic detail and compared to that of children with typical hearing and another group of congenital deaf children, viz. children with cochlear implants. The outcomes of this project will be crucial on different levels. First, they are theoretically important to further our understanding about the role of auditory input and brain stimulation for language development. Second, results can guide speech and language therapy for these children with auditory brainstem implants, since the current therapy is entirely based on that for children with cochlear implants, without any linguistic comparisons between both groups of children. Finally, the resulting information is crucial, for e.g. parents, to determine whether the benefit of ABI implantation outweighs the surgical risk.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Auditory brainstem implantation and language development 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

This project aims to investigate the oral language development of congenitally hearing-impaired children with an auditory brainstem implant (ABI). ABI is a relatively new development to restore the hearing of children with a severe-to-profound hearing loss due to i.a. the absence of the auditory nerve. The speech perception outcomes of children with ABI have been investigated, but detailed linguistically underpinned studies of their speech production are virtually lacking. The goal of the present research project is to provide a first linguistically motivated description of the lexical and phonological development of children with ABI. Their development will be evaluated against the background of the acquisition process of normally hearing children and that of severe-to-profound hearing-impaired children who received a cochlear implant. The focus is on the longitudinal development of the word productions of children with ABI. First, we investigate their cumulative vocabularies and the balance between their spoken and signed words (lexical development). Second, their word productions are analysed from a phonological perspective: in what order are segments acquired and what phonological regularities account for that order and (possible) deviations from that order? Which segmental substitution and deletion patterns occur? What is the consistency and variability of their productions and how does the accuracy of their word productions develop relative to the adult target forms?

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)