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:
- Africates are replaced by a stop at the same (or nearly same) place of articulation.
- The maximum syllable is CVN: that is, any consonant, any vowel and a syllable-final nasal.
- Words must begin with a stressed syllable.
- No inflectional affixes.
- No function words.
How would Keith say the following:
- Mommy's sock.
- I want vanela.
- The doggy drank my juice.
- Keith's chair is blue!
2. Here are the grammar rules for Kurt, age 38 months.
- 'In' and "on' are the only function words. All other function words are represented by /a/.
- All past tense is regularized.
- The maximum syllable is cvc.
- Kurt has 'consonant harmony': that is, In two syllable words, both syllable onsets must have the same place of articulation.
- While there may be voiced and voiceless fricatives, stops are all voiced.
How would Kurt say the following:
- The doggy is on the bed.
- Kurt ate breakfast.
- The kitty drank my juice.
- Don't splash the teacher.
- Mommy is working.
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?
- 1. [kwIsi majliN]
- Krissie is smiling
- 2. [now pwIti]
- Snow is pretty.
- 3. [fwVfi lIp@]
- fluffy slippers
- 4. [dap gwam@]
- stop gramma.
- 5. [gul bIg] - The school is big.
- 6. [bVs gwin] - the bus is green.
- 7. [mami sak] - Mommy's sock.
- 8. [lowi bVm] - Lori bumped me.
- 9. [lad kVki] - Last cookie.
- 10. [susi bIn gwas] - Susie spins the glass.
4. Using the rules you have made, determine how Krissie would say the following.
1. Smell the flowers.
3. The mouse is blue.
4. Ask Fred.
5. Don't run in the street.