Acquisition of Correct Vowel Production A Quantitative Case Study Case Study
Case Study  |   March 01, 1990
Acquisition of Correct Vowel Production
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara L. Davis
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Peter F. MacNeilage
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Peter F. MacNeilage The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Linguistics, Calhoun Hall 501, Austin, TX 78712-1196.
Article Information
Case Study
Case Study   |   March 01, 1990
Acquisition of Correct Vowel Production
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1990, Vol. 33, 16-27. doi:10.1044/jshr.3301.16
History: Received September 19, 1988 , Accepted May 26, 1989
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1990, Vol. 33, 16-27. doi:10.1044/jshr.3301.16
History: Received September 19, 1988; Accepted May 26, 1989

There have been relatively few studies of the course of acquisition of correct vowel production. The present study suggests this gives an illusory impression that vowels are acquired easily and are of little theoretical interest. Despite a relatively precocious rate of vocabulary acquisition over the period from 14 to 20 months, the subject studied produced less than 60% of her vowels correctly according to evidence from phonetic transcriptions. A complex pattern of vowel preferences and errors was only partially related to typical prespeech babbling preferences, but was strongly related to word structure variables (monosyllabic vs. disyllabic) including stress patterns of disyllabic words, as reflected in patterns of relative frequencies of vowels in stressed and unstressed syllables. Consonant-vowel interdependence was observed, in both the favoring of high front vowels in the environment of alveolar consonants, and a reciprocal relation between vowel reduplication and consonant reduplication in disyllabic words.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This study was the basis of a doctoral dissertation submitted to The University of Texas at Austin by Barbara L. Davis in December 1986.
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