The development of segmental phonology in a mixed language environment: a case study from Northern East Cree

Bryant, Kayla D. (2013) The development of segmental phonology in a mixed language environment: a case study from Northern East Cree. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this thesis I discuss the segmental development of a child (code-named Ani) learning Northern East Cree throughout ten sessions documenting the acquisition of her speech (ranging in age from 2;01.14 to 3;08.24). Although Ani was not a native speaker of English, she was exposed to some English through media sources (i.e. television and radio) and attempted to produce both Cree and English words in her spoken utterances. I describe Ani's word productions in both languages in order to obtain a clear picture of her phonological development as a whole. Building on previous research (e.g. Pearson et a!. 1997; Kuhl, Tsao & Liu 2003; Kuhl 2007; Hoff et al. 2012), I hypothesize that Ani does not actually learn the phonology of English, but rather produces both Cree and English words using a single phonotactic system, that of her native language. Ani's productions of English words are thus filtered through her Cree inventory of phones and syllable structure, causing consonants or syllable positions specific to English to develop late (some of which do not develop at all), during the period covered by the corpus. To test my hypothesis, I provide a detailed description of Ani's Cree and English word productions, which I organize by phones and positions within the syllable, and then systematically compare her performance in each language. This study contributes to the documentation of phonological development within mixed language environments as well as to the literature on the acquisition of an under-documented Aboriginal language.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10221
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 120-125).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Grammar, Comparative and general--Phonology; English language--Study and teaching (Early childhood)--Cree speakers; English language--Acquisition; English language--Study and teaching--Bilingual method.

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