Durational cues to fricative codas in 2-year-olds American English: Voicing and morphemic factors

Jae Yung Song*, Katherine Demuth, Karen Evans, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


In the process of phonological development, fricatives are generally assumed to be later acquired than stops. However, most of the observational work on which this claim is based has concerned itself with word-initial onset consonants; little is known about how and when fricatives are mastered in word-final coda position (e.g., nose). This is all the more critical in a language like English, where word-final fricatives often carry important morphological information (e.g., toes, goes). This study examines the development of duration cues to the voicing feature contrast in coda fricatives, using longitudinal spontaneous speech data from CVC words (e.g., noise vs face) produced by three children (1;6-2;6 years) and six mothers. Results show that the children were remarkably adult-like in the use of duration cues to voicing contrasts in fricatives even in this early age range. Furthermore the children, like the mothers, had longer frication noise durations for morphemic compared to non-morphemic fricatives (e.g., toes vs nose) when these segments occurred in utterance-final position. These results suggest that although childrens fricatives tend to be overall longer and more voiced compared to those of adults, the voicing and morphological contrasts for fricative codas are acquired early in production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2931-2946
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 133, Issue 5, pp. 2931-2946, and may be found at http://doi.org/10.1121/1.4795772.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Durational cues to fricative codas in 2-year-olds American English: Voicing and morphemic factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this