Intraword Variability in Children With Cochlear Implants: The Long-Term Development up to 5 Years of Age and a Comparison With Children With Normal Hearing Purpose This study evaluates intraword or token-to-token variability in the spontaneous speech of Dutch-speaking children with cochlear implants (CIs) longitudinally up to 5 years of age in comparison with intraword variability in age-matched peers with normal hearing (NH). Method Spontaneous speech samples of 9 children with CI were ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 03, 2018
Intraword Variability in Children With Cochlear Implants: The Long-Term Development up to 5 Years of Age and a Comparison With Children With Normal Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jolien Faes
    Computational Linguistics & Psycholinguistics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Steven Gillis
    Computational Linguistics & Psycholinguistics, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jolien Faes: jolien.faes@uantwerpen.be
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Cynthia Cress
    Associate Editor: Cynthia Cress×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 03, 2018
Intraword Variability in Children With Cochlear Implants: The Long-Term Development up to 5 Years of Age and a Comparison With Children With Normal Hearing
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2018, Vol. 27, 706-720. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0130
History: Received August 1, 2016 , Revised February 27, 2017 , Accepted November 28, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2018, Vol. 27, 706-720. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0130
History: Received August 1, 2016; Revised February 27, 2017; Accepted November 28, 2017

Purpose This study evaluates intraword or token-to-token variability in the spontaneous speech of Dutch-speaking children with cochlear implants (CIs) longitudinally up to 5 years of age in comparison with intraword variability in age-matched peers with normal hearing (NH).

Method Spontaneous speech samples of 9 children with CI were collected longitudinally up to age 5. The data of the NH control group consisted of cross-sectional recordings. Children's word productions were categorized into 4 response types of the variability score (consistent correct, consistent incorrect, variable with hits, variable with no hits), and the proportion of whole-word variation (PWV) was calculated.

Results PWV was high in both groups of children but decreased with age. All response types of the variability score appeared in both groups. Children with CI were significantly more variable than their peers with NH up to age 4, but this difference has disappeared by age 5. Longer words had a higher PWV and were more often consistent incorrect and variable.

Conclusions Intraword variability was characteristic of children with CI's spontaneous speech productions as it was in children with NH, and a similar factor (word length) affected variability in production. Group comparisons showed higher rates of intraword variability in children with CI, but they seemed to catch up with their peers with NH by age 5.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Grant G.0138.13 of the Research Foundation–Flanders (FWO) to S. Gillis. Our special thanks go to I. Molemans, K. Schauwers, R. van den Berg, and L. Van Severen for collecting and transcribing the data analyzed in this study.
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