Phonological development in Israeli Hebrew-learning infants and toddlers

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The chapter provides an overview of early receptive and productive phonological development in Israeli Hebrew. We report on perception studies which show that Hebrew-learning infants are familiar with the rhythms and phonotactic structures of Hebrew, as demonstrated by their preference for iambic words and for frequent word pattern-structures (miškalim). We also describe the emergence of languagespecific phonetic categories, demonstrated by the different responses of Hebrew and Arabic-learning infants. We then summarize findings from prior research regarding the phonological characteristics of the early words produced by Hebrew-learning toddlers. Examination of onset-less word forms produced by a 2-year-old child reveals that onset omission is especially frequent in iambic target words with codas. We discuss these findings from the perspective of wholeword phonology.


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