ERIC Number: EJ781123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Acquisition of Two Phonetic Cues to Word Boundaries
Redford, Melissa A.; Gildersleeve-Neumann, Christina E.
Journal of Child Language, v34 n4 p815-843 Nov 2007
The study evaluated whether durational and allophonic cues to word boundaries are intrinsic to syllable production, and so acquired with syllable structure, or whether they are suprasyllabic, and so acquired in phrasal contexts. Twenty preschool children (aged 3 ; 6 and 4 ; 6) produced: (1) single words with simple and complex onsets (e.g. "nail" vs. "snail"); and (2) two-word phrases with intervocalic consonant sequences and varying boundary locations (e.g. "this nail" vs. "bitty snail"). Comparisons between child and adult control productions showed that the durational juncture cue was emergent in the four-year-olds' productions of two-word phrases, but absent elsewhere. In contrast, the allophonic cue was evident even in the three-year-olds' productions of single words. Perceptual judgments showed that age- and type-dependent acoustic differences translated into differences in listener behavior. The differential acquisition of the two juncture cues is discussed with reference to the acquisition of articulatory timing control.
Descriptors: Cues, Syllables, Preschool Children, Language Acquisition, Child Language, Comparative Analysis, Verbal Communication, Adults
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Oregon Univ., Eugene.
Authoring Institution: N/A