Pitch and timing abilities in inherited speech and language impairment.
Alcock KJ., Passingham RE., Watkins K., Vargha-Khadem F.
Members of the KE family who suffer from an inherited developmental speech-and-language disorder and normal, age-matched, controls were tested on musical abilities, including perception and production of pitch and rhythm. Affected family members were not deficient in either the perception or production of pitch, whether this involved either single notes or familiar melodies. However, they were deficient in both the perception and production of rhythm in both vocal and manual modalities. It is concluded that intonation abilities are not impaired in the affected family members, whereas their timing abilities are impaired. Neither their linguistic nor oral praxic deficits can be at the root of their impairment in timing; rather, the reverse may be true.