Aller au contenuAller au menuAller à la recherche


Abstract :

This study addresses a problem of ecological validity posed by the use of a prosody assessment procedure to assess prosodic ability in children with speech and language disorders.
The (PEPS-C) [1] elicits prosody by stipulating the words of a response and the linguistic function they are to signal prosodically; the question arises as to how far the procedure’s results reflect perceptions of atypical expressive prosody in a person’s normal speech.

100 typically-developing children with typical development (TD), 36 with Asperger's syndrome (AS) and 31 with high-functioning autism (HFA), all matched for verbal mental age, completed the PEPS-C. While the HFA group produced significantly poorer results than the TD group on many PEPS-C tasks, the AS group were significantly poorer than the TD group on only one. In a perceptual evaluation experiment, judges using magnitude estimation [2] rated the atypicality of the prosody in a sample of conversation and in a PEPS-C response from each of 24 of the TD group, 30 of the AS group and 29 of the HFA group. Preliminary results show that, in mean ratings of atypicality from both sample-types, HFA > AS > TD. Correlation between the judges’ ratings was significant at the 0.01 level for both sample-types. The ratings correlated significantly (mainly at the 0.01 level) with PEPS-C mean totals, mean input, mean output and seven of the twelve individual PEPS-C task scores. It may therefore be considered that the assessment procedure reflects listeners’ perceptions of atypical prosody to a considerable extent.

Selected publications

Peppé, S. & McCann, J. (2003). Assessing intonation and prosody in children with atypical language development: the PEPS-C test and the revised version. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 17(4/5), 345-354.
Campbell, T, F., and Dollaghan, C. (1992) A method for obtaining listeners judgements of spontaneously produced language: Social validation through direct magnitude estimation. Topics in Language Disorder. 12/2, 42-45.

Michèle Allard