Vowel Production Children With Hearing Impairments

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Prelingual deaf children have speech that lacks vowel and consonant production. They struggle to master vowels and frequently make errors in neutralization and diphthongization in speech. This issue has long been treated as the usual treatment by performing cochlear implantation. The implantation aids in the creation of vowels as well as the improvement of speech. The enhancement of the production of vowels is measured through the acoustic analysis in accordance with the first formant and second formant frequencies. The significance of the formant is the association between the vocalization of vowel and formant pattern that allows the conversion from acoustic to articulatory metrics. Individuals who have hearing impairments frequently are likely to experience deviations with regard to the vowel space and format frequencies.


In the research study, partakers included 20 children composed of 12 girls against eight boys with an age array of five years; one month to nine years. All the patients had congenital hearing loss and received multi-channel cochlear implantation at an approximate age of three years. Each of them had at least six months experience of the implantation device. There was the control sample that was made of 20 kids also comprised of 12 girls and eight boys having an array of five to nine years of age. Both groups were matched by age. The Persian participants were required to pronounce the vowels /a/, /e/, /ӕ/ /i/, /o/, and /u/. The P raat software was used in measuring the averages for the initial format frequency (F1) and second format frequencies (F2) of all the six vowels. The independent samples t-test was carried out to evaluate the differences between F1 and F2 values and the region of the vowel space between both of these groups.


For the vowels /i/ and /a/, it was evident that the average value for the F1 frequency was substantially higher for the cochlear implantation kids (P < 0.05). In the case of the vowels /o/ and /a/, the approximate value of F2 frequency was considerably higher in the cochlear implantation kids (P < 0.04). For the children with the implantation, the F1 - F2 planar region measured at 77477 Hz2. In the situation of children with NH, the F1 – F2 planar area resulted in the figure measuring at 187365 Hz2. In certain circumstances, the planar area was negative, and this was an indication of a reorientation of the comparative loci of the vowels within the F1 – F2 plane. The F1 - F2 planar region for the NH category was larger than the F1 - F2 planar area for those kids with the implantation. In this sense, the vowel area is centralized for the children with the implantation as compared to that of the NH kids.


After six months of the cochlear implantation, there are still some impairments to the pronunciation of the Persian vowels that could be measured through the acoustic analysis. It is important to note that the F1 values within the implantation group were higher than the ones in the NH category. This means that the kids with the implantations portrayed more improved movements in the production of speech and pronunciation of vowels. Additionally, the F1 and F2 change because of smaller vowel spaces and this indicates that the children with the implantation are likely to produce extra-centralized vowels. Such effects could be potential consequences of the rigorous convalescence training as delivered by both the healthcare providers prior to surgery and parents at home.

May 24, 2023

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