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Slide 1

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Phonological development
Phonology = the study of how children
develop their understanding and use of
sounds in a language, focuses on
phonemes ­ smallest unit of sound…read more

Slide 2

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Phonological development
What do we mean by phonological development?
· The phonology of child language has distinct patterns
and logical structures.
· Newborns have a natural preference to listen to the
human voice above all environmental sounds ­
prefer to listen to speech rather than non-speech
sounds like coughing and laughing. 3-day old babies
can recognise their mother's voices ­ DeCasper and
Fifer (1980).
· Children are born universal ­ have the ability to
produce sounds in any language ­ they soon narrow
their range during phonemic contraction (12months)
to concentrate on the phonemes of the language(s)
used most around them.…read more

Slide 3

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Cooing and babbling:
· Cooing consists of open mouth sounds like `oo' and
· Babbling starts to combine consonants and vowels
into CVCV patterns ­ e.g. `dada' and `gaga'.
· Babbling can be split into two types:
­ Reduplicated = same CV structure repeated ­ e.g. `dada'
and `gaga'.
­ Variegated = combinations of different CV structures ­ e.
g. `gaba' and `muma'
· Sounds made during these pre-verbal stages can sound
like words but are known as proto-words if they can't
be related to object referents.…read more

Slide 4

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Intonation and meaning:
· Intonation can add another level of meaning to
the utterances children make ­ especially in the
one and two word stages.
· It is possible to change the meaning of a word by
changing the pitch level at which it is spoken.
· E.g. `my car' ­ stress placed on the possessive
determiner `my' shows the child is pointing out
that the car belongs to her and not someone else,
whereas stress placed on `car' could show that the
child is just labelling the object.…read more

Slide 5

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Sounding mistakes:
Process Explanation Example
Addition Adding an extra vowel sound to create a CVCV Horse becomes horsey
structure Dog becomes doggie
Deletion Leaving out the last consonant of a word, so a Cat would be pronounced ca
word like mouse becomes mou (mow) Pig would be pi
Reduplication The repetition of particular sounds and Choochoo
structures Weewee
Substitution One sound is swapped for another, easier sound Rabbit becomes wabbit
Sing becomes ting
Consonant cluster Children find it difficult to produce consonant Dry becomes dai
reduction clusters ­ groups of two of more consonants ­ Frog becomes fog
so will reduce them to smaller units
Deletion of The removal of an entire unstressed syllable Banana becomes nana
unstressed syllables from a word Pyjamas becomes jamas
Pretending becomes tending
Assimilation Assimilation is a process in which substitution Doggie becomes goggie
occurs but the sound changes because of other
sounds around it, e.g. A sound is substituted
with one that is closer to others in the word…read more

Slide 6

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Patterns in the mistakes:
· What might appear to be random sounds in child language
actually follow clear, regular patterns.
· Place of articulation = place in the mouth that the sound
· Manner of articulation = the way the sound is produced.
· Many errors are the result of a child trying to produce a sound
but instead producing a different one that is either made in a
nearby place of articulation or through a slightly different
manner of articulation. A fricative sound (created by slow and
· Examples: controlled release of air through the
mouth, creating friction) is replaced by a
­ Sing ­ ting
stop (sounds when the air flow is
­ Zebra ­ debra completely stopped ­ created by the
­ Thing ­ ting throat, back of mouth, at the alveolar
ridge or by the lips) as a fricative sound
is harder to produce for children.…read more

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