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Academic Paper


Title: Syllabic patterns in the early vocalizations of Quichua children
Author: Christina E. Gildersleeve-Neumann
Institution: Portland State University
Author: Barbara L. Davis
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Author: Peter F MacNeilage
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: To understand the interactions between production patterns common to children regardless of language environment and the early appearance of production effects based on perceptual learning from the ambient language requires the study of languages with diverse phonological properties. Few studies have evaluated early phonological acquisition patterns of children in non-Indo-European language environments. In the current study, across- and within-syllable consonant–vowel co-occurrence patterns in babbling were analyzed for a 6-month period for seven Ecuadorean Quichua learning children who were between 9 and 17 months of age at study onset. Their babbling utterances were compared to the babbling of six English-learning children between 9 and 22 months of age. Child patterns for both languages were compared with Quichua and English ambient language patterns. Babbling output was highly similar for the child groups: Quichua and English children's babbling demonstrated similar predicted within-syllable (coronal-front vowel, labial-central vowel, dorsal-back vowel) patterns, and across-syllable manner variegation patterns for consonants. These patterns were observed at significantly greater rates in the child groups than in the respective adult language input patterns, suggesting production system influences common to children across languages rather than ambient language perceptual learning effects during these children's babbling period.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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