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The Acoustic Analysis of Voice Onset Time in Cochlear Implanted Children and Normal-Hearing Controls

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Author(s): Rahimeh Roohparvar | Dr. Mahmood Bijankhan | Dr. Saeed Hasanzadeh | Dr. Shohreh Jalaie

Journal: Audiology
ISSN 1735-1936

Volume: 19;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 39;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Cochlear Implant | Deaf | Acoustic | Voice Onset Time | Voicing

ABSTRACT
Background and Aim: Hearing has an important role in speech production and making phonological distinction, especially voicing distinction. Voice onset time (VOT) has been a reliable acoustic cue of voicing differences in plosive consonants. The purpose of this study was to measure VOT in initial Persian (Farsi) oral plosives produced by cochlear implanted children, comparing to normal hearing children. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 20 cases and 20 controls were assessed. Cases were prelingually deaf children who were cochlear implanted 4.5 years prior to test. Controls were normal hearing children at 4.5 years of age. VOT were measured while children uttered oral plosives. The effect of hearing status, voicing, and gender on VOT were assessed. Results: The amount of VOT of plosives produced by girls was higher than boys, in both groups. This difference was significantly higher in voiceless plosives than in voiced ones. In both groups, voiceless plosives had long-positive VOT value; while the amount of VOT was short-positive regarding voiced plosives. Conclusion: It was demonstrated that VOT is significantly correlated with voicing. In voiceless plosives, VOT could not be considered as a phonetic correlate of hearing status; whereas it made significant differences between cochlear implanted children and hearing controls. Furthermore, it was confirmed that concerning voiceless plosives, the amount of VOT of girls was significantly higher than boys. On the contrary, in voiced plosives, gender had no significant effect on the amount of VOT.
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