A place for (almost) every thing and everything in its place: phonotactic effects on phonological development in Italian

Cucinelli, Alex (2020) A place for (almost) every thing and everything in its place: phonotactic effects on phonological development in Italian. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In learning their first language(s), children must acquire a phonemic inventory, a syllable shape (e.g., CV, CVC, CCV), and an understanding of which phonemes can occupy which positions within the syllable or word. In hierarchical representations, this can be accounted for through constraints on dependency relationships, where the specification of segmental features in dependent positions captures marked options. This thesis examines the phonological development of four Italian-learning children, whose overall behaviour aligns with implicational relationships proposed in the literature. I account for their behaviour through hierarchically organized prosodic and segmental representations which reflect claims based on the notion of markedness. These representations incorporate the prediction that early stages of acquisition and typologically ubiquitous syllable shapes represent unmarked options, while syllable shapes learned relatively late and those only allowed in typologically rare languages constitute more marked options. By investigating prosodic development alongside segmental development in Italian, this thesis contributes novel observations concerning the markedness of prosodic dependency in reference to sonority and place or articulation, for example: liquid+consonant, strident+consonant coda-onset clusters and consonant+liquid onset clusters all imply homorganic nasal+consonant coda-onset clusters, which also means that complex onsets imply coda-onset clusters, both in child grammars and in the typology of adult grammars.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14795
Item ID: 14795
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 115-121).
Keywords: Phonology, Child Phonology, Phonotactics, Language Acquisition, Prosodic Structure, Italian
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: September 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/9hvk-5z78
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Children--language; Italian language--Phonology; Italian language--Acquisition

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