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Title: Cross-linguistic comparison of phonotactic development
Authors: Grech, Helen
Keywords: Bilingualism in children
Second language acquisition
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: South African Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Citation: Grech, H. (2000). Cross linguistic comparison of phonotactic development. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, 47(special-edition), 35-43.
Abstract: The acquisition of phonotactics has not been studied as commonly as other aspects of children's development. A study was carried out on normally developing Maltese speaking children to collate a phonological development profile. One objective of this project was to identify trends of stages of the development of syllabic structure and to compare them cross-linguistically. Twenty-one children were recorded in their natural settings at four different stages between ages 2;0 and 3;6. As predicted, a change was observed in canonical syllabic structures used by the subjects as they grew older. A more complex structure seemed to become increasingly common among the children and their syllabic structures were progressively matching more with the corresponding adult ones. Most children mastered their phonotactics by the time they reached 3;6 years of age, irrespective of whether these involved multisyllabic words or words with syllabic complexity. Cross-linguistic comparison indicates that the phonotactic developmental profile for Maltese fits in with current theories highlighting universal phonotactic developmental trends. Some behaviour, specifically related to the structure of Maltese phonology, is also observed. Various implications for impairment and intervention are inferred. Findings in this study call for further cross-linguistic research in this area.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacHScCT

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