Two-year-olds' acquisition of the possessive morpheme

an acoustic analysis

Kiri Mealings, Katherine Demuth

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


Previous research shows that 2-year-olds' production of third person singular -s, but not plural -s, is affected by coda complexity, though both are more accurately produced in durationally longer utterance-final compared to utterancemedial position. This study explores these effects with possessive -s. Acoustic analysis of 10 two-years-olds' elicited imitations examined children's use of simple versus complex codas (e.g. Sue's vs. Doug's) both utterance-medially and utterance-finally. Morpheme production was surprisingly robust across contexts, but coda clusters were often simplified to -s singletons utterance-medially (e.g. Doug's [dɐz]). The findings raise many questions about lexical and morphological development in typical and language-impaired populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the 14th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAustralasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (14th : 2012) - Sydney
Duration: 3 Dec 20126 Dec 2012


  • child language acquisition
  • morpheme production
  • speech acoustics

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