A software program to assist coding of prelinguistic vocalizations in real time.
Willadsen E., Persson C., Appelbe D.
Numerous studies have confirmed that prelinguistic utterances are precursors to speech, and there is ample evidence that, for example, frequency of canonical syllables and syllable inventory size correlate with speech and language measures at older ages. Traditionally, prelinguistic utterances have been assessed by phonetic transcription which is difficult and time-consuming in infants. Recently, a more time-efficient methodology to assess prelinguistic utterances in real time, called naturalistic listening, was developed (Ramsdell et al., 2012). In a large international NIDCR-funded randomized controlled trial, Timing of Primary Surgery for with Cleft Palate (TOPS), including many coders, a software program (TimeStamper) was developed to assist in coding of prelinguistic vocalizations in real time, to ensure consistency of the coding procedures. Coders upload a video (or audio) file and watch and listen to the recording in real time without any possibility of pausing or taking notes. In real time, the coder registers each speech-like syllable as canonical or non-canonical. TimeStamper automatically calculates the percentage of canonical syllables of all syllables registered (canonical babbling ratio). At the end of a recording, TimeStamper assists in assessing presence/absence of canonical babbling and syllable inventory size. The software is presented and instructions for free access are provided.