The role of input statistics in acquisition: an investigation of phonological development in twins

Babcock, Lindsay (2006) The role of input statistics in acquisition: an investigation of phonological development in twins. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this thesis, I address the general question as to whether frequency of the input in the ambient language can determine the order of acquisition in phonological productions. This issue is addressed through an investigation of two corpora of phonological development in twins. I hypothesize that the environment should prevent at least some degree of variation between members of each of the twin pairs and, possibly, eliminate some of the variation typically observed across non-twin learners. To test this hypothesis, I analyse the development of word-initial branching onsets and sC clusters. The results show variation within and across twin pairs. To determine whether frequency influences the orders of acquisition attested, I consider frequency on three levels: individual clusters, cluster types and onset structures. The results show that only at the level of onset structure does frequency correlate with the order of acquisition. This suggests that frequency cannot be taken as a strong predictor for phonological development.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10117
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 91-97.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2006
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Grammar, Comparative and general--Phonology; Language acquisition.

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