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Communication across the life span February 15, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Communication across the life span February 15, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communication across the life span February 15, 2013

2 Communication Communication is a characteristic of humans in all cultures and in all stages of development Typically we use language to communicate Communication can occur without some type of verbal exchange However, communication can occur using interactions via gestures, facial expressions and body language Language development has a biological basis and is specifically preprogrammed in human beings It is also inter related to other domains such as cognition, psychosocial and motor development


4 Speech Speech is the verbal mode used for communication Composed of individual sounds called phonemes Allophones are variations of the same phoneme Phonological rules are used to combine phonemes in the correct order in order to produce words Word /cat/ is a combination of three sounds /k/, /q/, /t/ Three sounds are combined using phonological rules (consonant is usually followed by a vowel sound, vowel is the nucleus of a syllable, etc.) Helps us to generate thousands of words with different meanings

5 Voice and articulation Vocal folds vibrate to create a complex tone that is composed of many frequencies Movements of the lips, tongue and teeth together with breath support produce various sounds Try out two sounds – one voiced and the other voiceless Articulation is the manner in which the oral and nasal cavities come together to modify the air stream that comes from the larynx Speech can be analyzed in three ways: Perceptual: Use of our auditory skills to receive and analyze messages Physiology helps to us to understand production features of various allophones Acoustical study utilized to quantify parameters of sound frequency, intensity and time

6 The respiratory mechanism Pulmonary system and the chest wall system Pulmonary system Lungs and airways Upper respiratory system (oral and nasal cavities) Lower respiratory system (larynx, bronchial system and the lungs) Chest wall system Rib cage, abdomen and diaphragm O0&feature=player_embedded#! O0&feature=player_embedded#


8 Larynx Cartilaginous tube Connects to the respiratory system (trachea and lungs) inferiorly Superiorly to the vocal tract and oral cavity Position important because of its relationship and integration between three subsystems Pulmonary power house Laryngeal valve Supraglottic vocal tract resonator Lungs are the power supply for aerodynamic (subglottic tracheal) pressure that blows vocal cords apart – sets them into vibration Vocal cords oscillate in a series of compressions and rarefactions Modulate the subglottic pressure or transglottal pressure of short pulses of sound energy to produce human voice


10 Laryngeal system Vocal cords can be moved in several ways Spread apart (abducted) Gap between the vocal cords called the glottis Air moves in and out freely when gap is wide open Sounds harsh and noisy when somewhat constricted Pulled together (adducted) Airway is blocked Air pressure builds up under the vocal cords causing them to bulge up Eventually blown apart to release a puff of air Vocal folds fall back due to elastic recoil or aerodynamic effect Air pressure decreases when speed of airflow increases (Bernoulli effect) Tensed or stretched

11 Laryngeal system Vibrating vocal cords produce puffs of air Rate of vocal cord vibration (fundamental frequency) 125 per second in males 250 per second in adult females 500 per second in young children (infants) Measured in Hertz (one complete cycle of vibration per second) Fundamental frequency changes constantly to produce intonation Faster they vibrate the higher the pitch or frequency

12 Laryngeal system Greater the tension in the vocal cords Thinner the vocal cords Higher the frequency Decrease in tension in the vocal cords Thicker the vocal cords Lower the frequency The amount of air released will also change the loudness Greater the amount air released softer the tone Lesser the amount of air released the louder the tone Forceful adduction increase the loudness

13 Supralaryngeal system Sound from the larynx has to be shaped or modulated by the supralaryngeal system Complex sound is composed of a series of simple periodic sounds (pure tones) called harmonics Each harmonic has a unique frequency and amplitude Frequency is measured in cycles per second or Hertz (Hz) Lowest harmonic is the fundamental frequency (Fo) – represents the rate of vocal cord vibration Each subsequent harmonic is 120 Hz higher – 240 Hz, 360 Hz, etc.

14 Supralaryngeal system Amplitude represented in decibels (dB) of sound pressure level or intensity level Amplitude harmonics vary in a predictable manner Fo has the highest amplitude Harmonics drop off at 12dB per octave 12 dB drop between the fundamental frequency and first harmonic Graph (amplitude spectrum) shows amplitude and frequency of each harmonic

15 Supralaryngeal system Sound traveling through the upper airways (supralaryngeal or vocal tract) is modulated by shape and size of the tract Some harmonics are amplified and some reduced (damped) Humming sound of phonation acquires overtones called resonant or formant frequencies As the cavity changes to form different sounds resonance or formants also change

16 Supralaryngeal system

17 Articulation Process of forming sounds by movement of the articulators Vocal or supralaryngeal tract made up of tubes from the larynx to the opening of the mouth and nose Oral cavity – lips to the back of the throat – changed by the articulators Nasal cavity – from the nares to the velopharynx – fixed Pharyngeal cavity between the vocal folds to the nasal cavity

18 Supralaryngeal system

19 Pharyngeal oral-nasal system Pharynx Divided into 3 cavities Laryngopharynx, oralpharynx and nasopharynx Direction of sound determined by the position of the velum (soft palate) Velopharynx – velum (extension of the hard palate) and pharyngeal walls Open position – nasal radiation for nasal sounds Closure of the velopharyngeal port for oral sounds Upward movement of the velum Inward movement of the pharynx Different types of movements Cleft palate or short palate causes hypernasality


21 Supralaryngeal system Articulation Coordination of fixed (teeth, alveolar ridge, hard palate) and mobile (tongue, jaw, and soft palate) articulators Upper jaw or maxilla and the mandible have teeth which help to produce sounds such as /’/ /;/ /f/ /v/ Alveolar ridge –bony shelf of the maxilla help to produce sounds such as /t/, /d/, /z/ and /s/ Hard palate which extends from the alveolar ridge helps to produce /c/ /y/, /j/,/./

22 Suprapharyngeal system Oral cavity Lower jaw or mandible – moves the lower lip and tongue Tempromandibular joint – hinge like movement Up and down as well as slightly forward and backward and side to side Produces vowel sounds such as /e/, /i/, /o/ Movements produced by muscles  Temporalis  Masseter  Geniohyoid  Mylohyoid

23 Suprapharyngeal system Tongue Most important articulator Shortened, lengthened, widened, narrowed, flattened and thickened No skeleton – skeletal support from the hyoid bone and the jaw Attached to the palate, pharynx and the epiglottis Capable of complicated movements due to its own musculature Body – main bulk – vowel production Tip – apex – 50% of consonants Blade – behind the tip – small number of sounds (/c/) Dorsum – back – velar sounds Root – front wall of the pharynx

24 Supralaryngeal system Oral cavity Lips Upper and lower lips contribute by opening and closing the oral cavity Lower lip moved by the jaw – greater movement than the upper lip Allows production of sounds such as /p/, /b/, and /m/

25 Phonetics Four or five descriptors typically used to classify consonants Voicing Nasality Manner of articulation Place of articulation Secondary articulation /n/ is a voiced, alveolar, nasal, stop /f/ is a unvoiced, labiodental, fricative Vowels are classified according to 3 characteristics Height – high, mid, low Frontness/backness – front, central or back Lip shape – spread, rounded, normal All vowels are voiced,

26 Phonetics Suprasegmentals Classified according to: Loudness Pitch Duration Subject (noun) vs. subject (verb) Emphasis called stress Intonation used to differentiate between a statement and a question (it’s a good time vs. it’s a good time?)

27 Language Complex and dynamic system of conventional symbols that is used in various modes for thought and communication Langauge evolves within specific historical, social, and cultural contexts Language is rule governed Phonology Morphology Syntax Semantic Pragmatic Language learning is determined by biological, cognitive, psychosocial and environmental factors Effective use of language requires understanding of human interaction (sociocultural roles, nonverbal cues and motivation) Multifaceted behavior that is under constant change New advances in technology Dialects

28 Language structure Phonology is the rules that govern combination of phonemes or sounds Morphology is the study word structure Free morphemes (e.g., dog) Bound morphemes (e.g., s) Syntax of the word order of language Subject followed by a verb which is followed by an object Semantics Referential meaning – meaning assigned to individual words (the word car induces a mental picture of a car), adult vocabulary of 80,000 words Relational meaning – combination of referents Figurative meaning

29 Language structure Pragmatics – rules for talking or the rules for what we say and how we say it Speech act conforms to the context Initiation Turn taking Commenting Requesting Termination Repair

30 Theories of language development B. F. Skinner – language is a learned behavior under operant conditioning Young child produces language forms that are reinforced by the caregivers Selectively shaping the child’s imitation of the caregivers with the appropriate provision of reinforcement account for development of language Several criticisms include: imitation is not an active role, caregivers do not systematically shape the production of language

31 Theories of language Psycholinguistic theory – structure based Language is universal among humans Children acquiring different languages exhibit very similar acquisition strategies (Chomsky, 1959, 1965) Biological basis for language acquisition, humans are prewired for language acquisition Children born with Language Acquisition Device (LAD) Contains semantic (meaning) component and rules for constructing sentences Innate mechanism activated by input from the caregivers Form of language and mental operations used to formulate spoken messages Grammatical utterance formulated as a mental operation (deep structure) in the form of phrase structure rules (universal to all languages) Transformational rules act to change and reorder phrase structure into a spoken utterance (surface structure) These rules are specific to individual languages No attention paid to pragmatics

32 Theories of language development Psycholinguistic theory – semantic based Bloom’s research (1970) emphasized that the child’s cognition (important prerequisite) is the framework for language development Semantic coding used to explain the transformation of deep structure into surface structure Context is important factor in shaping the meaning conveyed by the sentence Billy toy may stand for possession or it could stand for agent-action Hierarchy of semantic structures and different stages of development were proposed (Brown’s stages of language development) Unable to connect cognition and language

33 Theories of language development Sociolinguistic model Social/communicative roles shape what we say and how we say it (Bruner, 1975) Muma (1978) indicated that speaker’s goals are governed by the topic, speaker’s knowledge of listeners and the communicative context Child engages in reflexive behaviors that are observed by caregiver and acknowledged which teaches the child to attach intentionality to the reflexive behavior The child realizes that the power of language is influencing the behavior and actions of others This theory is still evolving and it is not completely clear as to how nonlinguistic means turn into linguistic referents

34 Prelinguistic development Characterized by child’s exploration of his environment Cognitive, motor, and social domains develop in parallel to this development At the end of this period the child learns to use words as referents (abstract symbols of actual referents) First three months Human voice calming effect when the infant is upset Caregivers constantly provide stimulation in the form of auditory and visual input Develops into an early schema Crying is used to signal hunger or discomfort which will result is satisfaction of the need (caregiver will produce a bottle) Vowels emerge during periods of satisfaction

35 Prelinguistic development Vowels are combined with back of throat sounds (/k/ and /g/) in the second month (called vocal play or cooing) Prolongation of vowel sounds appears next Turning head towards a voice and responding vocally to the speech of caregivers is also observed eature=related eature=related

36 Prelinguistic development Fourth to the twelfth month YIWnw&feature=related YIWnw&feature=related Consonant vowel combinations are strung together and practiced during times of comfort and content (babbling) Sounds produced are not specific to the native language Emergence of suprasegmental features (rhythm and flow) Five to nine months the child expands on prelinguistic behavior

37 Prelinguistic development Variegated babbling replaces the repetitive babbling eature=related eature=related Echolalia emerges towards the end of this period Child attempts to imitate the caregiver’s utterances NR=1 NR=1 Meaning is not associated with these imitations Infant understands angry intonations, his name and some words They start to pay attention to conversation

38 Language development 12 months to 48 months Single word utterances First words emerge at approximately 12 months of age Child uses single words (holophrases) just as competent speakers do to convey meaning relations Relations are context based and the meaning is about the here and now Object names and actions (e.g., eat for hungry) Consonant vowel or vowel consonant combinations Continues until 18 months of age Understands more words than he produces First 50 words are holophrases Not aware of the single sounds that form the words After 50 words they become more aware of the phonology and start to combine sounds in a variety of ways to form different words

39 Language development Two word utterances 18 months to 24 months Best studied within the context the utterances are produced (mommy shoe may mean different things in different contexts) Morphological stage Marked by expansion in utterance length 27 to 30 months Begin to produce phrases (my doggie) and clauses (my doggie eat) Preparation for adult sentence structure (agent-action- object) Inflections also appear to change the type and the meaning of the sentence Caregivers are constantly stimulating the infant Caregivers speak with less complex language with children They provide expansions

40 Language Development Development of syntax 31 to 34 months Continue to add detail Development of questions and imperatives (with appropriate word order) Engage in conversations Take turns, repair may or may not be successful Sentence embedding Phrases and clauses are embedded within each other to create more complex utterances (put it under the table or I like the boy who helped) Pragmatics continues to improve (more turns during conversation and the meaning of pausing - to pause for the communication partner to respond and that it is signal for the end of the utterance)

41 Language development Co-joining sentences Complete utterances Begin to consider the perspective of the listener Continue to embed and start cojoining sentence (I like cookies and I ate them all) Refining language skills School experience places the child in a different environment with different interactions Cognition continues to play a role Formalizes the language channels by learning to read, write, and spell Uses language now to learn other concepts Development of metalinguistics (assess phonological, syntax and semantic rules)

42 Communication disorders Developmental delays or acquired problems 17% have communication disorders 11% have some type of hearing loss 6% a speech disorder Speech disorder includes disorders of voice, articulation and fluency Language disorder refers to comprehension and production of language

43 Classification of communication disorders

44 Language disorders Language disorders in children Difficulty in acquiring language Cognitive impairment/developmental delay Language impairment of varying degrees As they grow the gap between their chronological age and language age continues to expand Expressive language is shorter in length and less complex Semantics and pragmatics are also a problem

45 Language disorders Autism Social interaction Caregivers report that the child started to learn language but then stopped Exhibit echolalia Usual or peculiar differences Person stores and produces the utterances but does not process the utterances internally Hearing impairment Severity of language impairment depends on the type and severity of the hearing loss Evaluated by an audiologist Appropriate hearing may be prescribed Hearing aids apply hearing but they do not restore hearing Cochlear implants give direct stimulation to the cochlear Supplement their language with speech reading and manual signs

46 Language disorders Language disorders in children Specific language impairment No cognitive, social, sensory, or motor problems Demonstrate delays in language development Lack of achieving linguistic milestones Comprehend more than they produce Difficulties extracting irregularities of language Morphological disorders are evident Vocabulary growth might also be a problem Pragmatics may also be affected

47 Language disorders Neglect and abuse Lack of maternal interaction has a negative effect on language development Pragmatics is a severe problem They do not initiate and restrict their utterances in conversation Traumatic brain injury Effect on language varies with the site of lesion, degree and age of insult Cognitive deficits such as attention, memory, perception, organization and problem solving are also affected I million children and adolescents incur TBI Language deficits include deficits in comprehension and difficulty with figurative language such as idioms, metaphors and proverbs Problems with story grammar and sequencing parts of a narrative may also be affected

48 Language disorders Language disorders in adults - Aphasias Disruption of blood supply to the brain Damage to neural tissue Degenerative disease Other problems co-exist with language impairments (poor judgment, sensory or motor impairments, memory problems) Associated swallowing or motor speech disorder

49 Language disorders Fluent or Wernicke's aphasia U) U Non-fluent or Broca’s aphasia ( )

50 Language disorders Augmentative and alternative communication If the person is not capable of developing functional speech, they may need to use an AAC system Total communication approach No tech (manual sign language) Low tech (manual communication boards) Mid tech (static display devices) High tech (dynamic display devices) Caregivers feel that use of AAC prevents further development of language but it only enhances language development Strategies need to be taught on how to use the AAC systems

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