Phonetic Disintegration in a Five-Year-Old Following Sudden Hearing Loss The speech of a five-year-old boy who suffered a profound hearing loss following meningitis was sampled at two-week intervals for nine months. Speech samples were subjected to phonetic transcription, spectrographic analysis, and intelligibility testing. Immediately post-trauma, the child displayed slightly slower, Fo elevated, acoustically intense speech in which phonemic distortion ... Reports
Reports  |   May 01, 1982
Phonetic Disintegration in a Five-Year-Old Following Sudden Hearing Loss
 
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Article Information
Reports   |   May 01, 1982
Phonetic Disintegration in a Five-Year-Old Following Sudden Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1982, Vol. 47, 181-189. doi:10.1044/jshd.4702.181
History: Received November 13, 1979 , Accepted January 1, 1980
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1982, Vol. 47, 181-189. doi:10.1044/jshd.4702.181
History: Received November 13, 1979; Accepted January 1, 1980

The speech of a five-year-old boy who suffered a profound hearing loss following meningitis was sampled at two-week intervals for nine months. Speech samples were subjected to phonetic transcription, spectrographic analysis, and intelligibility testing. Immediately post-trauma, the child displayed slightly slower, Fo elevated, acoustically intense speech in which phonemic distortion and syllabification of consonants occurred occasionally; single word intelligibility was depressed below normal between 20–30%. By the 18th week, a sudden decline in intelligibility, increasing monotony of pitch, and a pattern of strongly emphatic, prolonged, aspirated, syllabified, and increasingly distorted consonants were manifest. At year's end, the child's speech bore some resemblance to the speech of the deaf in terms of suprasegmentals, intonation, and intelligibility, but differed because the child rarely, if ever deleted speech sounds or diphthongized vowels strongly. It is speculated that phonetic processes such as diphthongization, syllabification, and prolonged duration may be strategies for enhancing feedback during speech.

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