Prelinguistic Vocalizations of Children with Cochlear Implants: Clinical Value for Early Assessment

First results based on our research about greek prelinguistic vocalizations of children with cochlear implants…
Austin Journal of Otolaryngology


Recent evidence from a dissertation study [37], examining the protophone development in 7 Greek-speaking, cochlear-implanted children, aged 1;10-4;00 years, over a period of 11 months post-implant, revealed that the most frequent structure in their vocalizations was the CVCV type [38]. This held for both early fitted (< 24 months) and late-fitted (> 24 months) children. Notably, the same trend was found in the hearing controls that had an equivalent auditory experience, i.e. 8- to 10- month olds. The results agreed with [39] for hearing infants. Based on the above, a hypothesis is put forth, suggesting that the dominant babbling structures at the CB stage are influenced by the infant’s language environment. Namely, English contains a lot of monosyllabic words whereas Greek contains a lot of disyllabic words and in both cases hearing infants pick up that trend and produce similar forms in their babbling. Of equal importance is the finding that cochlear-implanted children seem to also perceive and produce these language-specific characteristics of prosodic structure as they showed different types of dominant patterns in their productions of the CB stage.

More research is needed in the babbling patterns in different languages to support the above hypothesis. It appears that the study of babbling patterns can be developed to serve as an early diagnostic tool for children with cochlear implants, providing indications for the onset of language-specific processing.



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