Author(s): Kant AR, Patadia R, Govale P, Rangasayee R, Kirtane M
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Cochlear implantees have improved speech production skills compared with those using hearing aids, as reflected in their acoustic measures. When compared to normal hearing controls, implanted children had fronted vowel space and their /s/ and /∫/ noise frequencies overlapped. Acoustic analysis of speech provides an objective index of perceived differences in speech production which can be precursory in planning therapy. The objective of this study was to compare acoustic characteristics of speech in cochlear implantees with those of normal hearing age matched peers to understand implications. METHODS: Group 1 consisted of 15 children with prelingual bilateral severe-profound hearing loss (age, 5-11 years; implanted between 4-10 years). Prior to an implant behind the ear, hearing aids were used; prior & post implantation subjects received at least 1 year of aural intervention. Group 2 consisted of 15 normal hearing age matched peers. Sustained productions of vowels and words with selected consonants were recorded. Using Praat software for acoustic analysis, digitized speech tokens were measured for F1, F2, and F3 of vowels; centre frequency (Hz) and energy concentration (dB) in burst; voice onset time (VOT in ms) for stops; centre frequency (Hz) of noise in /s/; rise time (ms) for affricates. A t-test was used to find significant differences between groups. RESULTS: Significant differences were found in VOT for /b/, F1 and F2 of /e/, and F3 of /u/. No significant differences were found for centre frequency of burst, energy concentration for stops, centre frequency of noise in /s/, or rise time for affricates. These findings suggest that auditory feedback provided by cochlear implants enable subjects to monitor production of speech sounds. CONCLUSION: Acoustic analysis of speech is an essential method for discerning characteristics which have or have not been improved by cochlear implantation and thus for planning intervention.
This article was published in Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol
and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology