Characteristics of Initial Consonant Clusters in Children with Hearing Loss
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This study examined characteristics of initial consonant clusters produced by children with hearing loss. The study had three goals. The first was to examine developmental patterns of consonant cluster production in children with hearing loss. The second goal was to examine consonant cluster production as compared to normally developing children, using a preexisting database, and the third goal was to examine the applicability of the Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP) to consonant cluster production in children with hearing loss. Eighteen children with hearing loss from preschool through 2nd grade participated in this study. Consonant clusters were elicited using a picture naming task. The study found that accuracy of consonant clusters produced by children with hearing loss was lower than that of normally developing children, but improved as children’s age increased, suggesting that age plays a dominant role in consonant cluster production in children. The results of the study also suggest that SSP also plays a partial role in characterizing consonant clusters produced by children with hearing loss.