The effect of phonotactic constraints in German-speaking children with delayed phonological acquisition: Evidence from production of word-initial consonant clusters

Susan Ott*, Ruben van de Vijver, Barbara Höhle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study the effect of phonotactic constraints concerning word-initial consonant clusters in children with delayed phonological acquisition was explored. Twelve German-speaking children took part (mean age 5;1). The spontaneous speech of all children was characterized by the regular appearance of the error patterns fronting, e.g., Kuh "cow" /ku:/ → [tu:], or stopping, e.g., Schaf "sheep" /∫a:f/ → [ta:f], which were inappropriate for their chronological age. The children were asked to produce words (picture naming task, word repetition task) with initial consonant clusters, in which the application of the error patterns would violate phonotactic sequence constraints. For instance, if fronting would apply in /kl-/, e.g., Kleid "dress", it would be realized as the phontactically illegal consonant cluster /tl-/. The results indicate that phonotactic constraints affect word production in children with delayed phonological developments. Surprisingly, we found that children with fronting produced the critical consonants correctly significantly more often in word-initial consonant clusters than in words in which they appeared as singleton onsets. In addition, the results provide evidence for a similar developmental trajectory of acquisition in children with typical development and in children with delayed phonological acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Speech-Language Pathology
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children with delayed phonological acquisition
  • Fronting
  • Phonotactic constraints
  • Stopping
  • Word-initial consonant clusters

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