Frame Dominance in Infants With Hearing Loss

Von Hapsburg, Deborah; Davis, Barbara L.; MacNeilage, Peter F.
April 2008
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2008, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p306
Academic Journal
Purpose: According to the frames then content (f/c) hypothesis (P. F. MacNeilage & B. L. Davis, 1990), the internal structure of syllables with consonant plus vowel structure (CV) during canonical babbling is determined primarily by production system properties related to rhythmic mandibular oscillations (motor frames). The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether auditory sensitivity affects the internal organization of CV syllables in infants identified in the 1st year of life with hearing loss. Method: CV co-occurrence patterns were analyzed for 13 infants with varying degrees of hearing sensitivity (normal hearing [n = 4], mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss (n = 6), and severe-to-profound hearing loss [n = 3]). Consonants and vowels within CV syllables were grouped according to place of articulation. Thus, an inventory of CV syllables with labial, coronal, and dorsal consonant onsets was created. Results: 77% of predicted frames were confirmed above chance. Additionally, there was no association between pure-tone average and any CV co-occurrence. Finally, co-occurrences that were not predicted by the hypothesis were statistically confirmed in very few instances. Conclusions: Auditory sensitivity may not influence intrasyllabic organization within CV syllables once infants begin canonical babbling, as the co-occurrences observed are primarily those predicted by the f/c hypothesis.


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