Response to Gierut, Elbert, & Dinnsen (1989) My comments on the study reported by Gierut, Elbert, and Dinnsen (1987)  still stand. Nothing in their reply is incompatible with my primary contention: Their data do not support the conclusion that starting treatment from the “most” versus “least” end of the continuum of phonological knowledge accounts for differences in ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   June 01, 1990
Response to Gierut, Elbert, & Dinnsen (1989) 
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lucrezia Tomes
    University of Arizona, Tucson
Article Information
Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   June 01, 1990
Response to Gierut, Elbert, & Dinnsen (1989) 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 412-413. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.412
History: Received September 28, 1989 , Accepted October 6, 1989
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 412-413. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.412
History: Received September 28, 1989; Accepted October 6, 1989
My comments on the study reported by Gierut, Elbert, and Dinnsen (1987)  still stand. Nothing in their reply is incompatible with my primary contention: Their data do not support the conclusion that starting treatment from the “most” versus “least” end of the continuum of phonological knowledge accounts for differences in learning phonology.
Some of the comments in their reply agree with my statements:
  1. I noted that the performances of the two groups were less different than indicated by Gierut et al. in that subjects in both groups showed improvement on untreated sounds. Gierut et al. did not disagree with this statement but offered additional explanations for this finding. For example, they indicated that some ostensibly untreated sounds were used as contrast sounds during the minimal-pair treatment of other sounds. This may have facilitated improvement in phonological knowledge of untreated sounds for some subjects from each group and may be a confounding variable that contributed to some of the group differences that did exist.

  2. I suggested that factors other than starting point of treatment may account for observed group differences in response to treatment. I did not assert that my alternative explanations were the true interpretations of their findings, but only pointed out that other explanations were plausible. In their reply, Gierut et al. also proposed additional variables that may explain group differences. For example, they explained that subject differences in pretreatment phonological knowledge may account for the differences in learning demonstrated by Subjects 3 (“most” group) and 4 (“least” group) in response to treatment of /∫/.

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