SPEECH DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN WITH CLEFT LIP AND PALATE
This investigation presents the results of a longitudinal study into the phonetic and phonological development of children with cleft palate and cleft lip and palate from pre-speech to the age of 4;6. The aim of the project was to investigate the extent to which the cleft palate condition affects the nature and chronology of phonetic and phonological development. The investigation comprised two studies. Eight children were studied; five in Study 1 and three in Study 2. The aims of both studies were to determine the existence of any abnormal patterns in prespeech vocalisations, the relationship between phonetic and phonological patterns in the children's speech, the nature and extent of any delay in development and whether any delay or deviance could be attributed to physical, phonetic or phonological factors. In Study 2 the period between 1;6 and 3;0 was investigated more closely in order to determine whether there is a point at which it is possible to predict subsequent abnormal phonological development. Audio recordings were made prior to, and at regular intervals following, the operation to repair the palate. The pre-speech vocalisations were transcribed phonetically and classified using an auditory phonetic framework. The speech data were also transcribed phonetically. Phonetic inventories of the pre-speech vocalisations and speech were constructed. Phonological and word analyses were carried out on the speech data. The results of both studies confirm that there is phonetic deviance particularly in the pre-speech vocalisations of these subjects. In addition there appears to be a relationship between phonetic and phonological development in these cleft palate children. Characteristics associated with cleft palate speech patterns can be detected in the data of all the children but at different stages and to different extents. There are some common tendencies but there is considerable individual variation and it appears that each child has his/her own route for phonetic and phonological development.
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