The long-term goals are to understand how preschool children with functional (nonorganic) phonological delays acquire the sound system of language, and to identify the factors that accelerate phonological learning in clinical treatment.
The specific aim of the proposed research is to extend models of spoken word recognition to the study of phonological learning in testing the hypothesis that the structure of words differentially affects children's acquisition of speech sounds. Project 1 evaluates the acquisition of novel (non)words as an apparent jumpstart to phonological learning. Project 2 assesses the effects of long-term priming as a potential learning mechanism that accelerates phonological learning. The planned studies utilize experimental single-subject design to induce phonological generalization in treatment, with the translational mission of improved efficacy of clinical practice. The theoretical contributions are to psycholinguistic and developmental theories in elaborating the effects of the statistical regularities of language on the acquisition process as realized in a population of children with atypical linguistic development.

Public Health Relevance

:The proposed research focuses on the success of clinical treatment for preschool children who have been diagnosed with speech sound delays with no known origin. The goal is to identify the treatment variables that will help children to learn and correctly produce speech sounds. Two treatment factors will be tested: (1) the kinds of words that are taught and (2) the methods of word presentation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-D (02))
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Cooper, Judith
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Indiana University Bloomington
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Hoover, Jill R (2018) Neighborhood Density and Syntactic Class Effects on Spoken Word Recognition: Specific Language Impairment and Typical Development. J Speech Lang Hear Res 61:1226-1237
Gierut, Judith A (2016) Nexus to Lexis: Phonological Disorders in Children. Semin Speech Lang 37:280-290
Gierut, Judith A; Morrisette, Michele L; Dickinson, Stephanie L (2015) Effect Size for Single-Subject Design in Phonological Treatment. J Speech Lang Hear Res 58:1464-81
Gierut, Judith A; Morrisette, Michele L (2015) Dense neighborhoods and mechanisms of learning: evidence from children with phonological delay. J Child Lang 42:1036-72
Gierut, Judith A; Morrisette, Michele L (2014) How to meet the neighbors: Modality effects on phonological generalization. Clin Linguist Phon 28:477-92
Dinnsen, Daniel A; Gierut, Judith A; Morrisette, Michele L et al. (2014) Unraveling phonological conspiracies: A case study. Clin Linguist Phon 28:463-76
Dinnsen, Daniel A; Dow, Michael C; Gierut, Judith A et al. (2013) The coronal fricative problem. Lingua 131:151-178
Hoover, Jill R; Storkel, Holly L (2013) Grammatical treatment and specific language impairment: neighbourhood density & third person singular -s. Clin Linguist Phon 27:661-80
van der Mark, Marianne; Brouwer, Maartje; Kromhout, Hans et al. (2012) Is pesticide use related to Parkinson disease? Some clues to heterogeneity in study results. Environ Health Perspect 120:340-7
Bulut, Niyazi; K?os, Jacek; Alexander, Millard H (2012) Accurate quantum wave packet calculations for the F + HCl ? Cl + HF reaction on the ground 1(2)A' potential energy surface. J Chem Phys 136:104304

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