Research

Predictive factors concerning the language development of late talkers

The current research project focuses on the way that late talkers develop their vocabulary based on the measurement and analysis of word variation. This is noted in special lists that are completed by parents (parentally reported vocabulary checklist).

Contact information: kakia.petinou@cut.ac.cy

 

Development of speech and language assessment battery  

The current investigation focuses on the creation, piloting and standardization of the first speech and language assessment battery in Cyprus. The project is being funded by the Cyprus Association of Registered Speech and Language Therapists, the Cyprus council of registration of Speech and Language Therapists and standard funding by the Cyprus University of Technology.

Contact information: kakia.petinou@cut.ac.cy

 

Developmental phonology

This research project focuses on the investigation of developmental phonological patterns of toddlers with typical language development, with an emphasis on the development of phonological processes in early speech. The purpose is to develop a screening tool that will provide the means for assessing the whole phonetic repertoire of Cypriot Greek, such that the targeted intervention is provided on the basis of the phonetic-phonological profile of the toddler. This research project also includes toddlers with a late onset of expressive vocabulary, with the aim being to identify the phonological processes that characterise these toddlers as opposed to typically developing ones.

Contact information: kakia.petinou@cut.ac.cy

 

Phonological, semantic and syntactic correlations

The current investigation focuses on the correlation among language sub-domains. Through correlation studies the research project involves investigating the relation that exists between phonological skills along with semantic and syntactic development in the third year of life. We are interested in how these three language skills interact with each other synchronically, i.e. within the same age, as well as how performance at one age level can predict performance in the same or other skills at a subsequently stage (for example between 28 and 36 months). Additionally, the current research project includes groups of children with typical language development as well as those with genetic syndromes, such as Neurofibromatosis Type 2.

Contact information: loukia.taxitari@cut.ac.cy

 

Semantic Profiling

Another focus of our research team is the study of the vocabulary development for children of different ages between two and three years old. In this research project, the focus is on the investigation of the average of number of words that are comprehended and produced at different ages as well as the types of words based on the developmental stage of the participants. The overall aim is the development of a semantic profiling of children of different ages, which will provide significant information regarding not only the quantity but also the quality of that produced. This will contribute to both the identification of children with language development issues as well as to the development of appropriate intervention plans.

Contact information: loukia.taxitari@cut.ac.cy

 

Vocabulary assessment and intervention in the field of augmentative and alternative communication

Despite the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) having a history of over sixty years and being well established in several countries, in Cyprus it is still at the infant stage. Specifically, the findings from the first ever survey study conducted on the island reveal that speech and language therapists have very little knowledge about the different components of the process of conducting comprehensive assessment in the AAC field, for many of them are driven mainly by their clinical judgment (Pampoulou, Theodorou and Petinou, 2017). The current research project is aimed at contributing to both the literature and practice by focusing on the assessment and intervention of receptive vocabulary skills of pupils with cerebral palsy. The participants will be students with cerebral palsy aged 3-6 years old, their parents, as well as the educational staff (including speech and language therapists) who support them. The impact of this project will be both at the national and international levels in that it will provide a platform for future theoretical and practical work in these contexts.

Contact information: eliada.pampoulou@cut.ac.cy

 

Risk Factors for Voice Disorders in University Professors in Cyprus

Aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate risk factors for voice pathologies in professors with voice disorders (VD) versus professors with no voice disorders (NVD). Patients and Methods: A web questionnaire was completed by 196 professors from several universities in Cyprus. The questionnaire elicited data regarding voice risk factors on parameters including general health, voice use, lifestyle and environment and the severity of a subject’s voice problem. The subjects were divided into two groups (i.e. professors with VD and professors with NVD). Chi-squared tests were used to examine the significant differences in the responses for each voice risk factor between the VD and the NVD groups. Results: The VD group was more likely to experience respiratory infections, coughing, throat clearing and stress, as well as teaching above students talking, and speaking over their natural breath cycle as compared with the NVD group. Professors in the VD category were also more likely to have taught in very and moderately noisy environments than professors in the NVD group. A further research project has the aim of evaluating various acoustic parameters of the voice (e.g. s/z ratio, maximum phonation time, intensity, frequency, etc.) in adults of different ages and origins from Cyprus. The results of the survey will be compared with the worldwide measurements of acoustic voice parameters.

Contact information: kyriaki.kyriakou@cut.ac.cy