Annual Review of Language Acquisition: Volume 2 (2002)
  • ISSN 1568-1467
  • E-ISSN: 1569-965X
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In this paper, I discuss a number of relations that take place between melodic content and higher prosodic structure in first language phonological development. I explore acquisition patterns found in data on the acquisition of Québec French. Starting with the observation that prosodic structure and, more specifically, stressed syllables, play a central role in phonological acquisition, I hypothesize that the inter-relations between prosodic and segmental structure posited by formal models of phonological organisation should be witnessed within and across developmental stages. I support this hypothesis through two findings from the French data. First, complex onsets emerge in stressed syllables before unstressed ones. Second, different types of consonants (placeless versus place-specified) emerge in word-final position at different stages. From these observations, I argue that the phenomena observed in these data are best captured in an analysis based on constituent structure and relationships between feature specification and prosodic constituency, which are governed by universal markedness.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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