Metrical Patterns of Words and Production Accuracy This investigation examined the influence of metrical patterns of words (syllable stress and serial position) on the production accuracy of 20 children (22 to 28 months). The data were productions of six pairs of individualized two-syllable experimental words that referred to unfamiliar objects. Members of each pair differed only in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1995
Metrical Patterns of Words and Production Accuracy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard G. Schwartz
    City University of New York
  • Lisa Goffman
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Richard G. Schwartz, PhD, PhD Program in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, 33 West 42 Street, New York, NY 10036. E-mail: rgs@cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1995
Metrical Patterns of Words and Production Accuracy
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1995, Vol. 38, 876-888. doi:10.1044/jshr.3804.876
History: Received December 6, 1993 , Accepted January 31, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1995, Vol. 38, 876-888. doi:10.1044/jshr.3804.876
History: Received December 6, 1993; Accepted January 31, 1995

This investigation examined the influence of metrical patterns of words (syllable stress and serial position) on the production accuracy of 20 children (22 to 28 months). The data were productions of six pairs of individualized two-syllable experimental words that referred to unfamiliar objects. Members of each pair differed only in the placement of stress (e.g., ['soti] vs. [so'ti]). Unstressed syllables were much more likely to be omitted, particularly at the beginning of words. Very few stressed syllables and unstressed second position syllables were omitted. One fourth of the word initial unstressed syllables were omitted. Consonant omissions, though few in number, tended to occur in initial position. Assimilation errors were not influenced by stress or serial position. When segmental errors due to syllable omissions were excluded, other consonant errors were not affected by stress or serial position. These findings indicate that young children's productions of syllables are influenced by the metrical patterns of words. However, the trochaic pattern of English is a statistical tendency, not an absolute constraint on two-syllable words. Metrical pattern also does not affect the consonant accuracy in syllables produced.

Acknowledgments
Support was provided by Grant R01 DC 00583–05, Input-output relationships in speech and language impairments, from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. This research was part of a thesis conducted by the second author under the direction of the first author at Purdue University. George Allen and Ronnie Wilbur provided valuable suggestions as thesis committee members. The assistance provided by Karen Pollock in reliability assessments and discussions with the authors on these topics is gratefully acknowledged.
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