Reference : From variability to stability: The acquisition of phonemes in French speaking childre...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
From variability to stability: The acquisition of phonemes in French speaking children aged 30 to 53 months.
MacLeod, Andrea []
Maillart, Christelle mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Logopédie clinique >]
13th International Congress for the Study of Child Language
du 14 juillet 2014 au 18 juillet 2014
International Assocaition for the Study of Child Language
The Nederlands
[en] Phonology ; language development ; variability
[en] When children first begin to produce the phonemes of their language, their productions are characterized by a high degree of variability (e.g., Ferguson & Farwell, 1975). As children’s phonological representations become more defined, their productions become more stable. In fact, the observation of variability beyond the early-word stage has been used as a diagnostic criteria for sub-types of phonological disorders (Dodd et al. 2005). Despite the clinical significance of phonological variability, there exists no normative data that can be used to objectively describe this variability in French. The goal of the present study was to describe variability and stability among French-speaking children between the ages of 30 and 53 months. A total of 153 children participated in the present study and were equally distributed in four groups (aged 30-35, 36-41, 42-47, and 48-53 months). We created a picture identification task with 65 target words, which contained the consonants of French in word initial, medial and final position. The children were asked to produce this series of words three times. Two measures of variability were used. (1) A consonant level analysis that investigated the stability of consonants regardless of word or syllable position. (2) A word level analysis that investigated the consistency of productions across the three series (Holm et al., 2007). The preliminary analysis focused on the consonant level analysis and revealed that the youngest group of children aged 30 to 35 months were significantly more variable than the oldest group aged 48-53 months. This shift from variability to stability will be discussed in terms of the development phonological representations. In addition, the clinical significance of variability will be discussed in light of these findings.

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