15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

Prosody Perception, Reading Accuracy, Nonliteral Language Comprehension, and Music and Tonal Pitch Discrimination in School Aged Children

Rose Thomas Kalathottukaren, Suzanne C. Purdy, Elaine Ballard

University of Auckland, New Zealand

Twenty-five school aged children with normal hearing were tested on their perception of prosody using the receptive prosody subtests of the Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C) and Child Paralanguage subtest of Diagnostic Analysis of Non Verbal Accuracy 2 (DANVA 2). Performance of four children with hearing loss on the two prosody measures was compared with performance of normal hearing children. Children were also tested on their reading accuracy, comprehension of nonliteral language, and music and tonal pitch discrimination. Overall results showed that younger children aged 7;1 to 9;11 years had significantly poorer scores than 10;1 to 12;11 year olds on the Contrastive Stress Reception subtest of PEPS-C and the DANVA 2 Child Paralanguage subtest, indicating a developmental effect on speech prosody perception. Children with hearing loss had poorer scores and greater variability on PEPS-C and DANVA 2 assessments compared to normal hearing controls. Statistically significant correlations were observed between prosody perception scores and musical pitch perception and reading measures for the normal hearing group. This is consistent with previous studies showing links between reading and prosody perception. Significant correlation between prosody perception and musical pitch discrimination indicates that pitch is an important cue for prosody perception.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kalathottukaren, Rose Thomas / Purdy, Suzanne C. / Ballard, Elaine (2014): "Prosody perception, reading accuracy, nonliteral language comprehension, and music and tonal pitch discrimination in school aged children", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 548-552.