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Role of infant-directed speech in language
development of hearing impaired infants
Irena Lovcevic, i.lovcevic@westernsydne...
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Role of infant-directed speech in language development of hearing impaired infants -HEARing CRC PhD presentation

This project is investigating the features of IDS that are beneficial for early language acquisition in infants with normal and impaired hearing.

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Role of infant-directed speech in language development of hearing impaired infants -HEARing CRC PhD presentation

  1. 1. Role of infant-directed speech in language development of hearing impaired infants Irena Lovcevic, i.lovcevic@westernsydney.edu.au MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University Abstract Infant-directed speech (IDS) refers to the special speaking style used in interactions with infants. Previous studies with normal- hearing (NH) infants showed that IDS helps infants to segment words from fluent speech, recognise words, and learn new words. However, there are many unanswered questions around the features of infant-directed speech that hearing impaired (HI) infants are receiving, and their role in the development of their early lexical processing skills. This project will investigate the features of IDS that are beneficial for early language acquisition in infants with normal and impaired hearing. Infant-directed speech •Special speech register that adults use when addressing young infants. •In comparison with adult-directed speech (ADS), IDS has1: o Longer vowels and pauses; o Exaggerated vowel articulation; o Slower rate; o Higher pitch and greater pitch range; o Increased repetition; o High proportion of questions. •IDS is present in almost all world languages. •IDS is proposed to serve 3 main functions1: o To attract and maintain infants’ attention; o To transmit emotional and affective content; o To facilitate language acquisition2,3. •NH and HI infants prefer IDS over ADS4. Role of IDS in language acquisition When stimuli are presented in IDS, normal hearing infants are more successful in tasks of: • Word segmentation5; • Word recognition6; • Word learning7. IDS to Hearing Impaired infants • IDS is affected by sensory or cognitive impairments in infants. • IDS to hearing impaired infants is characterised by: o Vowel hypoarticulation8,9; o Higher pitch10; o Fewer and less complex utterances; • Different developmental trajectory from IDS to NH infants. Pitch - maternal pitch decreased for older infants with normal hearing and infants with CI, but peaked at 6 months post-amplification for infants with hearing aids11; o Utterance repetition - maternal use of utterance repetition decreased with increasing age of normal hearing infants, but peaked at 3 months post- amplification for infants with CI and at 6 months post- amplification for infants with hearing aids11; o Mean length of utterance (MLU) - Maternal MLU increased across ages for normal hearing infants, but there was no change in MLU across ages for infants with hearing aids and infants with CI11; o Use of new words - maternal use of new words increased over time for normal hearing infants, slightly increased for infants with hearing aids and showed no change over time for infants with CI11. Current Project • Combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional experiments with NH- and HI-infants between 9 and 30 months of age. • Research questions: o What type of input are HI infants receiving? o What features of IDS influence word learning and lexical processing? o What is the optimal type of IDS input to promote lexical processing and word learning in HI infants? creating sound value www.hearingcrc.org References: 1. Fernald, A., & Simon, T. (1984). Dev. Psych., 20, 104–113. 2. Cooper, R. P., Abraham, J., Berman, S., & Staska, M. (1997). Infant Behav. Dev., 20(4), 477-488. 3. Grieser, D. L., & Kuhl, P. K. (1988). Dev. Psych., 24(1), 14-20. 4. Robertson, S., von Hapsburg, D., & Hay, J.S. (2013). J. Speech Lang. & Hear. Res., 56 (4), 1108-1119. 5. Thiessen, E. D., Hill, E. A., & Saffran, J. R. (2005). Infancy, 7(1), 53-71. 6. Song, J. Y., Demuth, K., & Morgan, J. (2010). JASA, 128(1), 389-400. 7. Ma, Weiyi, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Derek Houston & Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. (2011). Lang. Learn. & Dev. (7), 209–225. 8. Lam, C., & Kitamura, C. (2010). J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res., 53(3), 543-555. 9. Lam, C., & Kitamura, C. (2012). Dev. Sci., 15(2), 212-221. 10. Bergeson, T. R., Miller, R. J., & McCune, K. (2006). Infancy, 10(3), 221-240. 11. Bergeson, T. R. (2013). Cochlear implants Int. Aim: To identify and assess the features of IDS that are beneficial for early word learning, vocabulary development and lexical processing.

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