Segmental and positional effects on children's coda production

Comparing evidence from perceptual judgments and acoustic analysis

Rachel M. Theodore*, Katherine Demuth, Stephanie Shattuck-Hufnagel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Children's early productions are highly variable. Findings from children's early productions of grammatical morphemes indicate that some of the variability is systematically related to segmental and phonological factors. Here, we extend these findings by assessing 2-year-olds' production of non-morphemic codas using both listener decisions and acoustic analyses. Results showed that utterance position and coda manner influence perception, in that more stop codas were perceived utterance-finally compared to utterance-medially but fricative codas were perceived equally across utterance positions. Acoustic analyses showed some convergence to listeners' perception in that there were more cues associated with stops utterance-finally compared to utterance-medially. However, there was some divergence between the two methods in that acoustic cues to coda segments were also present in the majority of cases where a coda was not perceived. These findings provide insight into both the nature of children's emerging phonological representations and the effectiveness of coda transcription across segment types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-773
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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