The development of prosodic phonology

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    Children’s early word productions are highly variable in form. However, much of this variability is systematic for a given speaker, exhibiting an interaction between segments on the one hand, and syllable and word shapes on the other. Over time, all three increase in complexity, becoming more adult-like, with interactions between them along the way. Some early word realizations take a disyllabic shape commonly found across languages. However, there are also language-specific patterns of word production that begin to be found as early as the babbling stage of development. This process can be nicely captured in terms of the Prosodic Hierarchy, where the child’s phonological grammar gradually unfolds, becoming more complex over time. This view of phonological development provides a framework for better understanding both the nature of within-speaker variability, as well as the course of phonological (and morphological) development cross-linguistically.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of psycholinguistics
    EditorsShirley-Ann Rueschemeyer, M. Gareth Gaskell
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9780198786825
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Publication series

    NameOxford handbooks online


    • prosodic words
    • prosodic licensing
    • phonological development
    • prosody
    • phonology

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