Prosodic Focus Acquisition in French Early Cochlear Implanted Children

Chadi Farah, Stephane Roman, Mariapaola D'Imperio

Cochlear implanted (CI) children display an array of speech production and perception problems. No study has evaluated the specific use of prosody regarding information structure in the discourse, in French speaking early CI children. This study aims to evaluate prosody production in these children, to determine whether they show prosodic effect on word duration. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 10 prelingually hearing impaired French speaking children (4-7 years old), without comorbidities, CI before the age of 18 months between 2009 and 2012. The speech production task consisted in playing a computer-based semi-structured game, where children interacted with their caregiver. Results were interpreted according to both chronological age and hearing age (HA). In our series, 6- and 7-year old children (HA<6.2 years) showed stronger lengthening of the focused word in the corrective narrow focus condition than in the contrastive narrow focus which in turn was stronger than in broad focus condition. Only 7-year old children adopted a strategy similar to that of adults, lengthening the end-phrase adjective to preserve the typical phrasing pattern of French. This study shows for the first time that early CI children are able to acquire important intonation structure features comparable to adult patterns.

 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1320

Cite as: Farah, C., Roman, S., D'Imperio, M. (2018) Prosodic Focus Acquisition in French Early Cochlear Implanted Children. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 2977-2981, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1320.

  author={Chadi Farah and Stephane Roman and Mariapaola D'Imperio},
  title={Prosodic Focus Acquisition in French Early Cochlear Implanted Children},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},