One of the challenges for understanding the processes underlying the acquisition of phonology has been the variability found in early speech productions. Our recent research suggests that much of this is due to the phonological (or prosodic) context in which words (and their segments) appear. This paper explores some of the recent findings on children’s acquisition of phonological/prosodic units as a function of syllable and word structure, showing how acoustic analysis provides evidence of children’s developing phonological representations from their first words. It then shows that similar processes can account for the variable emergence of early grammatical morphemes, suggesting that these are also Prosodically Licensed. These findings are discussed in terms of a developmental model of language planning and production.
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1993Phonologic error distributions in the Iowa-Nebraska Articulation Norms Project: Consonant singletons. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 36: 533–547.
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2018. Early Underspecification of Functional Categories: Evidence from the Acquisition of Locative PPs in Russian. Language Acquisition 25:4 ► pp. 341 ff.
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2021. The acquisition of noun inflection in Northern Pame (Xi'iuy): Comparing whole word and minimal word accounts. Journal of Child Language 48:6 ► pp. 1067 ff.
Sundström, Simon, Björn Lyxell & Christina Samuelsson
2019. Prosodic aspects of repetition in Swedish-speaking children with developmental language disorder. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 21:6 ► pp. 623 ff.
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Theodore, Rachel M., Katherine Demuth & Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel
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2017. The Role of Frequency in Learning Morphophonological Alternations: Implications for Children With Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 60:5 ► pp. 1316 ff.
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2023. Produced, but not ‘productive’: Mandarin-speaking pre-schoolers’ challenges acquiring L2 English plural morphology. Journal of Child Language 50:3 ► pp. 581 ff.
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