Effects of bite blocks and hearing status on vowel production


This study explores the effects of hearing status and bite blocks on vowel production. Normal-hearing controls and postlingually deaf adults read elicitation lists of /hVd/ syllables with and without bite blocks and auditory feedback. Deaf participants' auditory feedback was provided by a cochlear prosthesis and interrupted by switching off their implant microphones. Recording sessions were held before prosthesis was provided and one month and one year after. Long-term absence of auditory feedback was associated with heightened dispersion of vowel tokens, which was inflated further by inserting bite blocks. The restoration of some hearing with prosthesis reduced dispersion. Deaf speakers' vowel spaces were reduced in size compared to controls. Insertion of bite blocks reduced them further because of the speakers' incomplete compensation. A year of prosthesis use increased vowel contrast with feedback during elicitation. These findings support the inference that models of speech production must assign a role to auditory feedback in error-based correction of feedforward commands for subsequent articulatory gestures.


The following article appeared in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 118, Issue 3, pp. 1636-1646 (September 2005) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2001527


auditory feedback, hearing status, bite blocks, vowel production

Subject Categories

Speech, Speech perception, Hearing


Psychology | Speech and Hearing Science


Acoustical Society of America

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©2005 Acoustical Society of America

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