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La perception auditive et le développement linguistique chez les individus neurotypiques, présentant un trouble du spectre autistique, ou ayant le syndrome de Williams : le rôle de la prosodie

Abstract : The purpose of this thesis was to explore the linguistic prosody perception at different processing levels (from a purely acoustic low-level processing to a more abstract and linguistic level), in three different populations: neurotypical participants, participants with Autism Spectrum Disorders and participants with Williams-Beuren syndrome. Linguistic prosody carries lexical, morphosyntactic and pragmatic informations in all languages of the worlds. The acoustical prosody properties (duration, intensity, and pitch variations) are easily available in the speech input, unless other more abstract structural properties that are related to it. For this reason, prosody processing plays a crucial role during language acquisition, by bootstrapping the acquisition of those abstract properties. Prosody perception and its role during language acquisition is more and more understood in typical development. By contrast, very little is known about atypical development. Two groups are particularly interesting because they present relatively opposite linguistic profiles: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS). Individuals with ASD are known to have qualitative alteration of communication (of up to ¿l¿absence quasi-totale de langage¿) and social interaction. By contrast, people with WS have a relatively well-developed language and good social communication skills: their language abilities (phonology, morphology, syntax) are relatively preserved, although their perception and production often appear to be atypical. For this reason, comparing these two populations allows us on one hand to test contrasted predictions and on the other hand to ask deficit specificities questions. The aim of the thesis was thus to draw the whole area between low-level acoustic perception and prosodic linguistic features. This project was divided into three main parts. First, we measured auditory discrimination thresholds (Exp.1). Second, we tested prosodic pattern preference in contact with native language (iambic-trochaic law, ITL) (Exp.2&3). Third, we investigated discrimination abilities and preference in a phrasal domain (bootstrapping mechanism) (Exp.4). To this end, we met more than 470 participants (of which more than 170 ASD participants and 17 WS participants), aged from 3 to 60 years old. Results support and complete literature for typical development: first we confirm the developmental pattern for discrimination thresholds and their improvement with age, in French-speaking participants (Exp.1); second, we confirm that French-speaking children, adolescents and adults are ITL sensitive (Exp.2&3). Furthermore, we evidence a bootstrapping mechanism language-dependent, showing a frequency-based phrases discrimination more than a prosody-based words discrimination (Exp.4). In addition, our results bring to light a different prosody perception in our two atypical populations. Indeed, individuals with ASD having autism (not Asperger syndrome) seem to have higher discrimination thresholds compared to typical controls (Exp.1). Moreover, only individuals with Asperger syndrome seem to be ITL sensitive for duration (the more relevant prosodic cue for language acquisition in French), unless participants with others ASD and participants with WS. This thesis thus bring new data concerning typical development in a large age sample, and contribute in the understanding of the origin of the atypical language development found in some populations.
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Carline Bernard. La perception auditive et le développement linguistique chez les individus neurotypiques, présentant un trouble du spectre autistique, ou ayant le syndrome de Williams : le rôle de la prosodie. Sciences cognitives. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015USPCB188⟩. ⟨tel-01861679⟩



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