Exploring phonological relationships between babbling and early word productions

Day, Kayla (2014) Exploring phonological relationships between babbling and early word productions. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this research, I set out to uncover relationships between the phonological composition of the babbled utterances and early word productions. I track segmental development in onset position across both babbled utterances and early word productions of two English-learning children (Cameron and Georgia) from the English-Davis corpus, available through CHILDES/Phonbank ( http://childes.talkbank.org/phon ). Both children display a very strong tendency to produce sounds in babbled utterances before attempting them in meaningful words. Also, these children show very little variation away from English phonemes in their babbled utterances, which suggests that these children have a good level of awareness of the native phonological system from a young age. However, a close examination of the treatment of [l] in Cameron's babbles and early word productions suggests that at least certain segments receive different treatment at different stages of the child's phonological development. I also perform a formal analysis of the productions of both children using descriptive features and Feature Co-occurrence Constraints (FCCs). Both children's phonological development can be can be captured using this model. However, many of the differences in their developmental paths remain unaccounted for given this type of analysis. Addressing this issue, I conduct an analysis of both children's substitution patterns to determine what factors (e.g. perceptual or articulatory) influenced their productions of unacquired segments. As we will see, many of the substitution patterns displayed by both children appear to have strong articulatory influences. The knowledge gained from each of these analyses highlights the benefits of using a multi-faceted approach to phonological acquisition.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8072
Item ID: 8072
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 119-122).
Keywords: Phonological acquisition, Babbling, Early words, Featural acquisition
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: August 2014
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Acquisition; English language--Phonetics; Child psychology; Language awareness in children

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