The emergence and later fading of two phonological templates – a ‘palatal’ template and consonant harmony – are investigated in the first 500 words produced by a child acquiring Estonian and English. Throughout the period the child's use of palatal forms, in particular, considerably exceeds their frequency in Estonian, the child's dominant language. Regression in accuracy is also traced, both overall and in individual word forms. Changes in frequency of use of the template patterns are related to growth in the size of the lexicon, the consonant inventory, and the length in syllables of words attempted. Articulatory difficulty is found to play at best a minor role in motivating pattern use, which is ascribed instead to the challenges of planning and recall.
Keywords: Phonological development; Estonian; template
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