Discourse Prosody and Sentence Processing in Prelingually Deaf Teenagers with Cochlear Implants by Katherine Demuth
The past few years has seen major improvements in the early diagnosis of hearing loss, early intervention, and device improvements.
Much of the assessment of language development has focussed on the early years,
with assessment of hearing levels, intelligibility, vocabulary size,
and other standardized measure showing good to excellent attainment levels by many children fitted with both hearing aids and cochlear implants (CIs).
However, much less is known about the language abilities of school-aged children with hearing loss,
where many still experience challenges making themselves understood, understanding others, and fully engaging in social interaction.
This talk discusses results from two recent studies of discourse interactions and sentence processing by prelingually deaf teenage CI users,
showing that they are less interactive, exhibit a different use prosodic cues for certain discourse functions,
and are much slower at sentence processing than their normal hearing peers.
This raises many questions regarding the nature of their language model, and how it might be enhanced to achieve more efficient language processing and production.