The role of the auditory environment in the development of speech production abilities during infancy


  • S. Rvachew Calgary Univ., Alta., Canada
  • E. Slawinski Calgary Univ., Alta., Canada


hearing, speech, hearing impairment, otitis media, ear infections, English-only speaking family, audiology assessment, otoscopy, warble-tone, bone conduction thresholds, visual reinforcement audiometry, tympanometry, phonetic complexity score, canonical babble ratio, F2/F1 ratio, 0.5 to 1.5 yr, 30 min, 250 to 6000 Hz


The authors recruited 6-month old infants with no prior history of hearing impairment or otitis media (`OME-free' group) and 6-month old infants who have had one or more ear infections at or before 6 months of age (`OME' group) through physicians, audiologists, and community health nurses. Each infant in the study has a normal prenatal, perinatal, health, and developmental history and comes from an English-only speaking family with no history of speech, language, or learning disability. At each of the ages 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months the infant receives a complete standard audiology assessment including otoscopy, assessment of warble-tone and bone conduction thresholds for frequencies between 250 and 6000 Hz using visual reinforcement audiometry, and tympanometry. Following the audiology assessment the infant's vocalizations are recorded for approximately 30 minutes. Phonetic and acoustic analyses are being used to determine a phonetic complexity score and canonical babble ratio for each sample, and the F2/F1 ratio for each vowel contained in each sample. Developmental changes in these measures are compared across the 2 groups



How to Cite

Rvachew S, Slawinski E. The role of the auditory environment in the development of speech production abilities during infancy. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 1993Sep.1 [cited 2021Apr.14];21(3):47-8. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada