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Perceptual constancy for phonemic categories: a developmental study with normal and language impaired children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Paula Tallal*
Affiliation:
University of California at San Diego
Rachel E. Stark
Affiliation:
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Clayton Kallman
Affiliation:
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
David Mellits
Affiliation:
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
*
Dr. Paula Tallal, Department of Psychiatry M-003, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093

Abstract

Six synthesized consonant-vowel syllables, three containing the phoneme /b/ in different vowel contexts and three the phoneme /d/, were presented randomly to developmental dysphasics and normal children. The ability to recognize that these six acoustically different stimuli shared two common phonemic categories (perceptual constancy) was investigated using nonverbal operantly conditioned response techniques. Results showed that although several children in both groups had difficulty with the task, the dysphasic group's performance was significantly poorer than the controls. Whereas the normal children improved significantly with age, the dysphasics did not. The results of this study suggest that speech perception, rather than being fully developed in infancy, changes throughout language development. By using procedures which have proven suitable for testing infants, with young children at various stages of language development, more might be learned about how the acoustic signal is encoded into speech and language and how this encoding changes throughout development or is disturbed in language disorders.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1980

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References

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