Templates and representations in phonology

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Studies in the acquisition of phonology which support a “templatic hypothesis” for non-Semitic languages raise the very exciting theoretical question of continuity vs. discontinuity between children’s and adults’ grammars. This paper addresses the relevance of an autosegmental templatic model in accounting for the developmental course of the acquisition of phonology in French. On the basis of French data, it discusses the continuity/discontinuity issue for this non-Semitic language. What are the consequences of recognizing a templatic stage in such a language? Why do children go through such a stage, and how could this cast new light on the emergence of structural properties of human grammars?


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