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ERIC Number: EJ1043555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Influences of Semantic and Prosodic Cues on Word Repetition and Categorization in Autism
Singh, Leher; Harrow, MariLouise S.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v57 n5 p1764-1778 Oct 2014
Purpose: To investigate sensitivity to prosodic and semantic cues to emotion in individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA). Method: Emotional prosody and semantics were independently manipulated to assess the relative influence of prosody versus semantics on speech processing. A sample of 10-year-old typically developing children (n = 10) and children with HFA (n = 10) were asked to repeat words that were either emotionally congruent or incongruent in form and content (Experiment 1A). In a second task (Experiment 1B), the same participants were asked to classify stimuli on the basis of emotional prosody. A final experiment (Experiment 2) focused on sensitivity to congruence in a non-emotional source of variation: talker gender. Results: The results revealed a selective impairment in spontaneous integration of prosodic and semantic cues to emotion in HFA; however, the same participants were able to categorize emotions on the basis of prosody under reduced task demands. Individuals with HFA were highly sensitive to another surface characteristic in speech: talker gender. Conclusions: The study reveals impairment in the spontaneous integration of prosodic and semantic cues to emotion in HFA; however, insensitivity to surface detail, such as prosody, in HFA appears to be highly task dependent and selective to the domain of emotion.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule; Clinical Evaluation of Language Functions
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A