Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-lxvtp Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-23T08:16:10.085Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Patterns of intra-word phonological variability during the second year of life

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2006

University of Washington
University of Washington


Phonological representation for adult speakers is generally assumed to include sub-lexical information at the level of the phoneme. Some have suggested, however, that young children operate with more holistic lexical representations. If young children use whole-word representation and adults employ phonemic representation, then a component of phonological development includes a transition from holistic to segmental storage of phonological information. The present study addresses the nature of this transition by investigating the prevalence and patterns of intra-word production variability during the first year of lexical acquisition (1;0–2;0). Longitudinal data from four typically developing children were analysed to determine variability at each age. Patterns of variability are discussed in relation to chronological age and productive vocabulary size. Results show high overall rates of variability, as well as a peak in variability corresponding to the onset of combinatorial speech, suggesting that phonological reorganization may commence somewhat later than previously thought.

Research Article
© 2006 Cambridge University Press

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.)


This research was supported by a grant from NICHD to the second author, the Child Speech Lab at the University of Washington, and by the University of Washington Graduate School. Portions of this study were presented at the 2003 Child Phonology Conference in Vancouver, B.C.