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Academic Paper

Title: Perception of audio-visual speech synchrony in Spanish-speaking children with and without specific language impairment
Author: Ferran Pons
Institution: Universitat de Barcelona
Author: Llorenç Andreu
Institution: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Author: MÒNICA Sanz-Torrent
Institution: Universitat de Barcelona
Author: Lucía Buil Legaz
Institution: Florida Atlantic University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: Speech perception involves the integration of auditory and visual articulatory information, and thus requires the perception of temporal synchrony between this information. There is evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulty with auditory speech perception but it is not known if this is also true for the integration of auditory and visual speech. Twenty Spanish-speaking children with SLI, twenty typically developing age-matched Spanish-speaking children, and twenty Spanish-speaking children matched for MLU-w participated in an eye-tracking study to investigate the perception of audiovisual speech synchrony. Results revealed that children with typical language development perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 666 ms regardless of whether the auditory or visual speech attribute led the other one. Children with SLI only detected the 666 ms asynchrony when the auditory component followed the visual component. None of the groups perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 366 ms. These results suggest that the difficulty of speech processing by children with SLI would also involve difficulties in integrating auditory and visual aspects of speech perception.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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