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Attempted sounds are sometimes not: an expanded view of phonological selection and avoidance*

  • Richard G. Schwartz (a1), Laurence B. Leonard (a1), Diane M. Frome Loeb (a1) and Lori A. Swanson (a1)

Young children readily acquire new words with consonants and syllable structures already used accurately (IN words). They have more difficulty acquiring new words with consonants or syllable structures never before produced or attempted (OUT words). In the present study, we examined children's acquisition of a third type of word, containing consonants the children had attempted in the past but never produced accurately (ATTEMPTED words). IN, OUT and ATTEMPTED words and their object referents were presented to 11 young children in a series of play sessions. The children's production and comprehension of the words were then assessed. No comprehension differences among the three types of words were observed. However, ATTEMPTED words as well as OUT words were less likely to be acquired in production than IN words. Some revisions in models of child phonology are proposed to accommodate these findings.

Corresponding author
Audiology and Speech Sciences, Heavilon Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
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This research was supported by Grant No. NS22395 from the Public Health Service. We wish to thank the children who participated, their parents and Kathleen Sullivan for their assistance with this project.

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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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