Send to

Choose Destination
J Acoust Soc Am. 1989 Feb;85(2):926-33.

Speech perception in children with histories of recurrent otitis media.

Author information

Rhode Island School for the Deaf, Providence 02908.


The present study investigated the ability of 5-year-old children to perceive differences in voice onset time (VOT) in naturally produced speech. Three groups of children whose hearing was within normal limits at the time of the experiment were tested on identification and discrimination tasks: (1) group C, in which the children had normal language abilities and no history of severe, recurrent otitis media (OM), (2) group OM, in which the children had histories of severe, recurrent OM but normal language abilities, and (3) group OM/DL, in which the children had histories of severe OM and delays in the acquisition of linguistic competence. Compared to group C, group OM/DL showed marked differences in their ability to identify and discriminate speech patterns. Their perception was less categorical, as well, in that there was less of a peak in the discrimination function at the region of the phoneme boundary. The performance of group OM fell between the other two groups, with deficits being more pronounced in the discrimination task than in the identification task. The results supported the idea that episodes of OM can produce periods of sensory deprivation that alter perceptual abilities. The relation of a history of OM to later language and academic difficulties was also considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Institute of Physics
Loading ...
Support Center