Chapter published in:Sources of Variation in First Language Acquisition: Languages, contexts, and learners
Edited by Maya Hickmann †, Edy Veneziano and Harriet Jisa
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 22] 2018
► pp. 45–62
Chapter 2Phonological categories and their manifestation in child phonology
The nature of phonological representations and of their acquisition by language learners has been a subject of debate since at least the 1970s. Vihman and Croft (2007) recently proposed the ‘Radical’ Templatic approach to phonology, which formally rejects segmental features as independent units of phonological representation, in spite of their central relevance within mainstream theories of phonology since at least the 1940s. In this chapter, I emphasize that abstract categories are in fact central to our characterization of phonological systems and their acquisition by language learners. I discuss longitudinal data on the development of consonants and consonant clusters in the productions of Catootje, a Dutch-learning child. I highlight several categorical effects that are readily captured in models of phonological development which embrace abstract units such as features and syllable constituents.
Keywords: phonology, prosody, acquisition, category, first language, syllable constituents, variability
- 1.1Abstract phonological models
- 1.2‘Radical’ Templatic Phonology
- 2.Case study
- 2.1The corpus
- 2.2The target system
- 2.3Catootje’s general development of singleton and branching onsets
- 2.4Variability in the acquisition of [d] in onsets
- 2.5Variability in the acquisition of onset clusters
Published online: 22 February 2018
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