ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

5pSP20. Vowel spaces in the speech of profoundly hearing impaired children.

Emily A. Tobey

LSU Med. Ctr., 1900 Gravier, New Orleans, LA 70112

Marios Fourakis

Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210

Ann E. Geers

Central Inst. for the Deaf, St. Louis, MO 63110

Centralized vowels, reflected in a reduced vowel space, are commonly associated with the speech of profoundly hearing impaired speakers. In order to characterize longitudinally the vowel spaces of children with profound hearing impairments, recordings of 12 children were obtained at two time periods separated by 3 years. Five repetitions of the vowels, /i/, /(small capital eye)/, /|oh/, /u/, and /(open oh)/ produced in hVd context were recorded and digitized. Measurements were made of the first three formant peaks and fundamental frequency at the first 50-ms steady-state period of the vowels. The means for each vowel were plotted and the total space defined by the means was computed for each child at each recording date. Initial results for half the children indicated reduced vowel spaces in the initial recording session and increases in the size and changes in the shape of the spaces at the last session. Data from the remaining children will be presented and discussed relative to the effectiveness of using vowel spaces to evaluate vowel production by profoundly hearing impaired children. [Work supported by NIH.]