Imitation of nonwords by deaf children after cochlear implantation: Preliminary findings

Miranda Cleary, Caitlin Dillon, David B. Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Fourteen prelingually deafened pediatric users of the Nucleus-22 cochlear implant were asked to imitate auditorily presented nonwords. The children's utterances were recorded, digitized, and broadly transcribed. The target patterns and the children's imitations were then played back to normal-hearing adult listeners in order to obtain perceptual judgments of repetition accuracy. The results revealed wide variability in the children's ability to repeat the novel sound sequences. Individual differences in the component processes of encoding, memory, and speech production were strongly reflected in the nonword repetition scores. Duration of deafness before implantation also appeared to be a factor associated with imitation performance. Linguistic analyses of the initial consonants in the nonwords revealed that coronal stops were imitated best, followed by the coronal fricative /s/, and then the labial and velar stops. Labial fricatives were poorly imitated. The theoretical significance of the nonword repetition task as it has been used in past studies of working memory and vocabulary development in normal-hearing children is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number5 II
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Child
  • Cochlear implant
  • Language
  • Nonword, nonword repetition
  • Phonology
  • Speech
  • Word recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Imitation of nonwords by deaf children after cochlear implantation: Preliminary findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this