Hostname: page-component-758b78586c-pp4sz Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-11-29T17:23:13.336Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

A longitudinal study of the phonological development of two Cantonese–English bilingual children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 1999

Alison Holm*
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Barbara Dodd
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Barbara Dodd, Speech Department, University of Newcastle, King George VIth Building, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom Email:


Longitudinal case studies of the successive phonological acquisition of two Cantonese–English bilingual children, aged 2;3 to 3;1 years and 2;9 to 3;5 years, are presented. The children were assessed at 4-week intervals. The first assessment of their phonology occurred when they had been exposed to English for three months. Phoneme acquisition and phonological process data revealed that both children had separate phonological systems for the two languages. The two phonological systems for each child developed in similar ways to monolingual children acquiring Cantonese and English. However, a number of error patterns, indicative of disorder in monolingual children, were evident in the children's phonological systems in English and in Cantonese. These patterns have been documented as normal error patterns for successive bilingual Cantonese–English speaking children. The difference between normal successive bilingual phonological development and normal monolingual development is addressed.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1999

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Burling, R. (1971). Language development of a Garo and English speaking child. In Bar-Ado, A. & Leopold, W. (Eds.), Child language (pp. 170-185). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
De Houwer, A., (1995). Bilingual language acquisition. In Fletcher, P. & MacWhinney, B. (Eds.), The handbook of child language (pp. 219-250). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
Dodd, B. (1995). Differential diagnosis and treatment of children with speech disorder. London: Whurr.Google Scholar
Dodd, B., Leahy, J., & Hambly, G. (1989). Phonological disorders in children: Underlying cognitive deficits. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 7, 55-71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dodd, B., So, L., & Li, W. (1996). Symptoms of disorder without impairment: The written and spoken errors of bilinguals. In Dodd, B., Campbell, R., & Worrall, L. (Eds.), Evaluating theories of language (pp. 137-160). London: Whurr.Google Scholar
Duggirala, V., & Dodd, B. (1991). A psycholinguistic assessment model for disordered phonology. In Congress of phonetic sciences (pp. 342-345). Aix-en-Provence: Université de Provence.Google Scholar
Fantini, A. (1985). Language acquisition of a bilingual child: A sociolinguistic perspective (to age ten). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Goldman, R., & Fristoe, M. (1986). Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
Grundy, K. (1989). Linguistics in clinical practice. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
Grunwell, P. (1982). Clinical phonology. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
Holm, A. (1999). Speech development and disorder in bilingual children. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Newcastle.Google Scholar
Ingram, D. (1982). The emerging phonological system of an Italian-English bilingual child. Journal of Italian Linguistics, 2, 95-113.Google Scholar
Karniol, R. (1990). Second language acquisition via immersion in daycare. Journal of Child Language, 17, 147-170.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Leonard, L. (1985). Unusual and subtle phonological behaviour in the speech of phonologically disordered children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 50, 4-13.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Leopold, W. (1949). Speech development of a bilingual child: A linguist's record. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
Macken, M., & Ferguson, C. (1983). Cognitive aspects of phonological development: Model, evidence and issues. In Nelson, K. (Ed.), Children's language (pp. 255-282). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Navarro, A., Pearson, B., Cobo-Lewis, A., & Oller, D. (1995, December). Early phonological development in young bilinguals: Comparison to monolinguals. Handout from a paper presented at the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.Google Scholar
Prather, E., Hedrick, D., & Kern, C. (1975). Articulation development between two and four years. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 40, 179-191.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saville-Troike, M. (1988). Private speech: Evidence for second language learning strategies during the silent period. Journal of Child Language, 15, 567-590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schnitzer, M., & Krasinski, E. (1994). The development of segmental phonological production in a bilingual child. Journal of Child Language, 21, 585-622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schnitzer, M., & Krasinski, E. (1996). The development of segmental phonological production in a bilingual child: A contrasting second case. Journal of Child Language, 23, 547-571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
So, L. (1993). Cantonese Segmental Phonology Test (research version). Hong Kong: University Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Hong Kong University.Google Scholar
So, L., & Dodd, B. (1994). Phonologically disordered Cantonese-speaking children. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 8, 235-255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
So, L., & Dodd, B. (1995). The acquisition of phonology by Cantonese speaking children. Journal of Child Language, 22, 473-495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson, I. (1991). Phonological processing in two languages. In Bialystok, E. (Ed.), Language processing in bilingual children (pp. 25-48). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
PDF 523 KB