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ERIC Number: EJ1067958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Examination of the Locus of Positional Effects on Children's Production of Plural -"s": Considerations from Local and Global Speech Planning
Theodore, Rachel M.; Demuth, Katherine; Shattuck-Hufnagel, Stefanie
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v58 n3 p946-953 Jun 2015
Purpose: Prosodic and articulatory factors influence children's production of inflectional morphemes. For example, plural -"s" is produced more reliably in utterance-final compared to utterance-medial position (i.e., the positional effect), which has been attributed to the increased planning time in utterance-final position. In previous investigations of plural -"s", utterance-medial plurals were followed by a stop consonant (e.g., "dogs bark"), inducing high articulatory complexity. We examined whether the positional effect would be observed if the utterance-medial context were simplified to a following vowel. Method: An elicited imitation task was used to collect productions of plural nouns from 2-year-old children. Nouns were elicited utterance-medially and utterance-finally, with the medial plural followed by either a stressed or an unstressed vowel. Acoustic analysis was used to identify evidence of morpheme production. Results: The positional effect was absent when the morpheme was followed by a vowel (e.g., "dogs eat"). However, it returned when the vowel-initial word contained 2 syllables (e.g., "dogs arrive"), suggesting that the increased processing load in the latter condition negated the facilitative effect of the easy articulatory context. Conclusions: Children's productions of grammatical morphemes reflect a rich interaction between emerging levels of linguistic competence, raising considerations for diagnosis and rehabilitation of language disorders.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 057606