School-Aged Children’s Phonological Production of Derived English Words Purpose Little is known about the phonological aspects of derivational processes. Neutral suffixes (e.g., -ness) that do not change stress and rhythmic or nonneutral suffixes (e.g., -ity) that alter stem stress were used in a production task that explored developmental changes in phonological accuracy of derived English words. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2006
School-Aged Children’s Phonological Production of Derived English Words
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Jarmulowicz
    The University of Memphis, Tennessee
  • Contact author: Linda Jarmulowicz, School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, The University of Memphis, 807 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105. Email: ljrmlwcz@memphis.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2006
School-Aged Children’s Phonological Production of Derived English Words
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 294-308. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/024)
History: Received September 9, 2004 , Revised May 6, 2005 , Accepted July 29, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 294-308. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/024)
History: Received September 9, 2004; Revised May 6, 2005; Accepted July 29, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15

Purpose Little is known about the phonological aspects of derivational processes. Neutral suffixes (e.g., -ness) that do not change stress and rhythmic or nonneutral suffixes (e.g., -ity) that alter stem stress were used in a production task that explored developmental changes in phonological accuracy of derived English words.

Method Three groups of typically achieving children, aged 7 (n = 19), 8 (n = 18), and 9 (n = 15) years, produced derived words in isolation (12 words with rhythmic suffixes and 10 with neutral suffixes). Productions were transcribed from audio-recordings.

Results Stress accuracy was at ceiling levels for neutral derived words but steadily improved in words with rhythmic suffixes. The predominant stress error was maintaining stem stress in the derived form. Children also made syllabification and consonant errors (in isolation and overlapping with stem stress errors). More errors occurred on derived words with vowel changes than without.

Conclusions Morphophonological knowledge for words with rhythmic suffixes undergoes development in early school-aged children. The number or degree of phonological changes between the stem and derived word appears to be an important variable in accurate production.

Acknowledgments
These data constitute part of the my doctoral dissertation at The City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY. Some of this work was also presented at the 2002 Joint Conference of the International Association for the Study of Child Language and the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI. I thank the children who participated in this study and Helen S. Cairns, Richard Schwartz, Julie Masterson, Kim Oller, Valentina Taran, and Brett Doty for their comments and support of this work.
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