Journal of Child Language



Between-word junctures in early multi-word speech


CAROLINE  NEWTON  a1 c1 and BILL  WELLS  a2
a1 Department of Human Communication Science, University College London, UK
a2 Department of Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK

Abstract

Most children aged 1;6 to 2;0 begin to use utterances of two words or more. It is therefore important for child phonologists to consider the development of phonetic and phonological phenomena that characterize connected speech. The longitudinal case study reported here investigated three juncture types – assimilation, elision and liaison – in the speech of a typically-developing child between the ages of 2;4 and 3;4. Attempts at production of these adult juncture types occurred from the onset of two-word utterances. However, for some juncture types, the child still had to perfect the intergestural relationships and gestural articulations that the adult between-word junctures demand. This process of phonetic development was largely accomplished by the age of 3;4. With one exception, between-word junctures appear not to be the result of learned phonological rules or processes. The exception is liaison involving /r/, which did not occur until the child was three years old.

(Received February 10 2000)
(Revised April 21 2001)


Correspondence:
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr. Caroline Newton, Department of Human Communication Science, University College London, Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PF, UK.


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