Effects of auditory feedback deprivation length on the vowel ∕ε∕ produced by pediatric cochlear-implant users
Effects of auditory deprivation on speech production by ten cochlear-implanted children were investigated by turning off the implant for durations ranging from 0.3 to 5.0s and measuring the formant frequencies (F1 and F2) of the vowel ∕ε∕. In five of the ten talkers, F1 and/or F2 shifted when auditory feedback was eliminated. Without feedback, F2 frequency lowered consistently, suggesting vowel centralization. Phonetic transcription indicated that some of these acoustic changes led to perceptible shifts in phonetic quality. The results provide evidence that brief periods of auditory deprivation can produce perceptible changes in vowels produced by some cochlear-implanted children.
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