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Prosody perception and production by children with cochlear implants

  • Daan J. VAN DE VELDE (a1) (a2), Niels O. SCHILLER (a1) (a2), Claartje C. LEVELT (a1) (a2), Vincent J. VAN HEUVEN (a3), Mieke BEERS (a4), Jeroen J. BRIAIRE (a4) and Johan H. M. FRIJNS (a2) (a4)...

Abstract

The perception and production of emotional and linguistic (focus) prosody were compared in children with cochlear implants (CI) and normally hearing (NH) peers. Thirteen CI and thirteen hearing-age-matched school-aged NH children were tested, as baseline, on non-verbal emotion understanding, non-word repetition, and stimulus identification and naming. Main tests were verbal emotion discrimination, verbal focus position discrimination, acted emotion production, and focus production. Productions were evaluated by NH adult Dutch listeners. All scores between groups were comparable, except a lower score for the CI group for non-word repetition. Emotional prosody perception and production scores correlated weakly for CI children but were uncorrelated for NH children. In general, hearing age weakly predicted emotion production but not perception. Non-verbal emotional (but not linguistic) understanding predicted CI children's (but not controls’) emotion perception and production. In conclusion, increasing time in sound might facilitate vocal emotional expression, possibly requiring independently maturing emotion perception skills.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Daan van de Velde, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, Leiden University, Cleveringaplaats 1, 2311 BD, Leiden, the Netherlands. E-mail: d.j.van.de.velde@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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