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Title: Speech communication strategies in older children : acoustic-phonetic and linguistic adaptations to a hearing-impaired peer
Author: Granlund, S. C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 2793
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the communication strategies used by both hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) children when interacting with a peer with hearing loss, focusing on the acoustic-phonetic and linguistic properties of their speech. To elicit frequent repetitions of segmental contrasts in HI children's spontaneous speech in interaction, a new task was developed using minimal pair keywords in a communicative game context. In addition, another referential communication task, the 'spot the difference' Diapix task (Van Engen et al., 2010), was used. Eighteen NH and eighteen HI children between 9 and 15 years of age performed the two tasks in pairs, once with a friend with normal hearing (NH-directed speech) and once with a friend with a hearing-impairment (HI-directed speech). Task difficulty increased in interactions involving a HI interlocutor, implying a need for speaker- listener adaptations. Participants' global acoustic-phonetic (articulation rate, F0 median and range, speech intensity and pausing), segmental (/p/-/b/, /s/- /ʃ/, and /i/-/ɪ/) and linguistic (phrase length, lexical frequency, lexical diversity and speech overlap) adaptations to a HI interlocutor were explored. Although HI speakers were found to differ from NH speakers in many aspects of their speech and language, the two groups used similar, mostly global and linguistic, strategies to adapt to the needs of their HI friend - and the HI children's ability to adapt did not seem to be related to their own speech level. Only a subset of speakers was found to increase the discriminability of phonetic contrasts in speech, perhaps partly due to speakers using segmental and linguistic strategies as alternative methods in adaptation. Both NH and HI speakers appeared to adjust the extent of adaptations made to the specific needs of their HI interlocutor, therefore implying surprising sensitivity to listener needs. Implications to models of speech communication are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available