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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language