Language Structure Problems

First Language Acquisition: Pronunciation

Children learning their first language employ sets of rules as they speak. These sets of rules are their version of the adult speech they hear around them. In that sense, they are not mispronunciations but approximations of the target utterances. Slowly, as they gain more control of their articulators and deepen their understanding of the target language, their utterances become more and more standard.

You will be given a set of rules used by some typical children and you will use those rules to determine how the children would pronounce certain English words and phrases. In some cases, there may be more than one correct answer.

1. Here are the grammar rules for Keith, age 22 months:

How would Keith say the following:

2. Here are the grammar rules for Kurt, age 38 months.

How would Kurt say the following:

3. Here are some utterances by Krissie at 18months and their standard English equivalents. Phonologically, what is Krissie's maximum syllable and what substitutions or deletions occur in her speech? Note that different environments (perhaps different places in the word) may need to be accounted for separately. What morphemes does she delete?

4. Using the rules you have made, determine how Krissie would say the following.

1. Smell the flowers.
2.Friday night.
3. The mouse is blue.
4. Ask Fred.
5. Don't run in the street.