Standard-Chinese Lexical Neighborhood Test in normal-hearing young children.
ABSTRACT The purposes of the present study were to establish the Standard-Chinese version of Lexical Neighborhood Test (LNT) and to examine the lexical and age effects on spoken-word recognition in normal-hearing children.
Six lists of monosyllabic and six lists of disyllabic words (20 words/list) were selected from the database of daily speech materials for normal-hearing (NH) children of ages 3-5 years. The lists were further divided into "easy" and "hard" halves according to the word frequency and neighborhood density in the database based on the theory of Neighborhood Activation Model (NAM). Ninety-six NH children (age ranged between 4.0 and 7.0 years) were divided into three different age groups of 1-year intervals. Speech-perception tests were conducted using the Standard-Chinese monosyllabic and disyllabic LNT.
The inter-list performance was found to be equivalent and inter-rater reliability was high with 92.5-95% consistency. Results of word-recognition scores showed that the lexical effects were all significant. Children scored higher with disyllabic words than with monosyllabic words. "Easy" words scored higher than "hard" words. The word-recognition performance also increased with age in each lexical category. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that neighborhood density, age, and word frequency appeared to have increasingly more contributions to Chinese word recognition.
The results of the present study indicated that performances of Chinese word recognition were influenced by word frequency, age, and neighborhood density, with word frequency playing a major role. These results were consistent with those in other languages, supporting the application of NAM in the Chinese language. The development of Standard-Chinese version of LNT and the establishment of a database of children of 4-6 years old can provide a reliable means for spoken-word recognition test in children with hearing impairment.