Consonant Cluster Development in Two-Year-Olds General Trends and Individual Difference Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2001
Consonant Cluster Development in Two-Year-Olds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharynne McLeod
    School of Communication Sciences and Disorders The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Jan van Doorn
    School of Communication Sciences and Disorders The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Vicki A. Reed
    School of Communication Sciences and Disorders The University of Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • Currently affiliated with School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Australia
    Currently affiliated with School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Australia×
  • Contact author: Sharynne McLeod, PhD, School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury 2640, Australia.
    Contact author: Sharynne McLeod, PhD, School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury 2640, Australia.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: smcleod@csu.edu.au
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2001
Consonant Cluster Development in Two-Year-Olds
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2001, Vol. 44, 1144-1171. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/090)
History: Received May 30, 2000 , Accepted May 7, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2001, Vol. 44, 1144-1171. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/090)
History: Received May 30, 2000; Accepted May 7, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 27

A holistic view of phonological development can be attained only through exploration of the relationship between universal developmental sequences, to establish a general pattern of development and individual learning and to provide information regarding variability. This study examined consonant cluster production, looking specifically at the relationship between general trends and individual differences as children acquire these sounds. The spontaneous speech of 16 normally developing Anglo-Australian 2-year-olds was elicited monthly for 6 months, and the corpus of 96 samples was examined using independent and relational phonological analyses. Data demonstrated that 2-year-olds were able to produce a range of consonant clusters in word-initial and word-final position, but few of the younger participants could produce consonant clusters correctly. Only half of the participants showed an increase in the percent of consonant clusters produced correctly over the 6-month period; however, their developing phonological maturity was revealed in the increase in the range and diversity of their repertoire of consonant clusters and by their closer approximations to the adult target. Specific findings of the study were compared to 10 trends for children's acquisition of consonant clusters emerging from the literature over the last 70 years.

Acknowledgments
This article presents a portion of work from a doctoral dissertation conducted by the first author at The University of Sydney. The research was supported by grants from The University of Sydney and the Charles Sturt University PhD Write-up Award Scheme. The authors wish to thank Elise Baker, Sally Hooper, Johanna Keene, Simone Stuchbury, Timothy Hewitt, Kerrie Lee, and the participants and their families for their assistance in the conduct of this research.
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