Insights From Acquisition and Learning

Katherine Demuth, Paola Escudero, Rajka Smiljanic and Jae Yung Song

in The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199575039
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Insights From Acquisition and Learning

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  • Linguistics
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Language Acquisition


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This article discusses the role of language development in early acquisition, multilingualism, and second-language acquisition and presents its implications on the core phonological concepts. Some of the variable production and comprehension of both phonological units and grammatical morphemes may be influenced by the prosodic context and/or utterance position in which they occur. Children have long been known to exhibit within-speaker variability in the production of English inflectional morphemes. Many researchers suggest that this is due to incomplete semantic or syntactic representations. The new technological developments such as more accessible audio/video recording equipment and speech analysis software are introduced to address the limitations of previous longitudinal corpora such that the CHILDES database allows for both Unicode IPA transcription and the linking of audio/video files to the transcription record. Ultrasound methods are used to explore the nature of children's early phonological representations. Speech perception studies have showed that simultaneous bilinguals' speech processing cannot be distinguished from that of monolinguals in their two languages, at least when they are very young (10-12 months of age) or as adults. It demonstrates that they may have separate systems for handling the processing of their two languages.

Keywords: semantic representations; syntactic representations; grammatical morphemes; phonological units; speech analysis software; CHILDES database

Article.  13025 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Phonetics and Phonology ; Language Acquisition

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