Prosodic Licensing and the development of phonological and morphological representations

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One of the challenges for understanding the processes underlying the acquisition of phonology has been the variability found in early speech productions. Our recent research suggests that much of this is due to the phonological (or prosodic) context in which words (and their segments) appear. This paper explores some of the recent findings on children&#8217;s acquisition of phonological/prosodic units as a function of syllable and word structure, showing how acoustic analysis provides evidence of children&#8217;s developing phonological representations from their first words. It then shows that similar processes can account for the variable emergence of early grammatical morphemes, suggesting that these are also <i>Prosodically Licensed</i>. These findings are discussed in terms of a developmental model of language planning and production.


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