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ERIC Number: EJ1207501
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Production of Question Intonation by Young Adult Cochlear Implant Users: Does Age at Implantation Matter?
Lehnert-LeHouillier, Heike; Spencer, Linda J.; Machmer, Elizabeth L.; Burchell, Kristy L.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v62 n2 p257-271 Feb 2019
Purpose: The purpose of this observational study was to investigate the properties of sentence-final prosody in yes/no questions produced by cochlear implant (CI) users in order to determine whether and how the age at CI implantation impacts CI users' production of question intonation later in life. Method: We acoustically analyzed recordings from 46 young adult CI users and 10 young adults with normal hearing who read yes/no questions. Of the 46 CI users, 20 had received their CI before the age of 4.0 years (early implantation group), 15 between ages 4.0 and 8.11 years (midimplantation group), and 11 at the age of 9.0 years or later (late implantation group). We assessed the prosodic properties of the produced questions for each implantation group and the normal hearing comparison group (a) by measuring the sentence-final rise in fundamental frequency, (b) by labeling the question-final intonation contour using the Tones and Breaks Index (Beckman & Ayers, 1994; Silverman, Beckman, et al., 1992; Veilleux, Shattuck-Hufnagel, & Brugos, 2006), and (c) by assessing phrase-final lengthening. Results The fundamental frequency rises produced by all CI users exhibited a smaller magnitude than those produced by the normal hearing comparison group, although the difference between early implanted CI users and the normal hearing group did not reach statistical significance. Early implanted CI users were more comparable in their use of question-final intonation contours to the individuals with typical hearing than to those users with CI implanted later in life. All CI users exhibited significantly less phrase-final lengthening than the normal hearing comparison group, regardless of age at CI implantation. Conclusion: The results of this investigation of question intonation produced by CI users suggest that those CI users who were implanted with CI earlier in life produce yes/no question intonation in a manner that is more similar to, albeit not the same as, individuals with normal hearing when compared to the productions of those users with CI implanted after 4.0 years of age.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC012317