The prosodic licensing of coda consonants in early speech: Interactions with vowel length

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

English has a word-minimality requirement that all open-class lexical items must contain at least two moras of structure, forming a bimoraic foot (Hayes, 1995).Thus, a word with either a long vowel, or a short vowel and a coda consonant, satisfies this requirement. This raises the question of when and how young children might learn this language-specific constraint, and if they would use coda consonants earlier and more reliably after short vowels compared to long vowels. To evaluate this possibility we conducted an elicited imitation experiment with 15 two-year-old Australian English-speaking children, using both perceptual and acoustic analysis. As predicted, the children produced codas more often when preceded by short vowels. The findings suggest that English-speaking two-year-olds are sensitive to language-specific lexical constraints, and are more likely to use coda consonants when prosodically required.

LanguageEnglish
Pages265-283
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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Licensure
speaking
Language
interaction
imitation
language
Acoustics
acoustics
Foot
experiment
Interaction
Vowel Length
Coda
Consonant
Licensing
Short Vowels
Long Vowels

Cite this

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title = "The prosodic licensing of coda consonants in early speech: Interactions with vowel length",
abstract = "English has a word-minimality requirement that all open-class lexical items must contain at least two moras of structure, forming a bimoraic foot (Hayes, 1995).Thus, a word with either a long vowel, or a short vowel and a coda consonant, satisfies this requirement. This raises the question of when and how young children might learn this language-specific constraint, and if they would use coda consonants earlier and more reliably after short vowels compared to long vowels. To evaluate this possibility we conducted an elicited imitation experiment with 15 two-year-old Australian English-speaking children, using both perceptual and acoustic analysis. As predicted, the children produced codas more often when preceded by short vowels. The findings suggest that English-speaking two-year-olds are sensitive to language-specific lexical constraints, and are more likely to use coda consonants when prosodically required.",
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The prosodic licensing of coda consonants in early speech : Interactions with vowel length. / Miles, Kelly; Yuen, Ivan; Cox, Felicity; Demuth, Katherine.

In: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 43, No. 2, 01.03.2016, p. 265-283.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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