The Interaction Between Vocabulary Size and Phonotactic Probability Effects on Children's Production Accuracy and Fluency in Nonword Repetition Adults' performance on a variety of tasks suggests that phonological processing of nonwords is grounded in generalizations about sublexical patterns over all known words. A small body of research suggests that children's phonological acquisition is similarly based on generalizations over the lexicon. To test this account, production accuracy and fluency ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2004
The Interaction Between Vocabulary Size and Phonotactic Probability Effects on Children's Production Accuracy and Fluency in Nonword Repetition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jan Edwards
    Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Mary E. Beckman
    Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Benjamin Munson
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: edwards.212@osu.edu
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2004
The Interaction Between Vocabulary Size and Phonotactic Probability Effects on Children's Production Accuracy and Fluency in Nonword Repetition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2004, Vol. 47, 421-436. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/034)
History: Received March 10, 2003 , Accepted July 14, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2004, Vol. 47, 421-436. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/034)
History: Received March 10, 2003; Accepted July 14, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 204

Adults' performance on a variety of tasks suggests that phonological processing of nonwords is grounded in generalizations about sublexical patterns over all known words. A small body of research suggests that children's phonological acquisition is similarly based on generalizations over the lexicon. To test this account, production accuracy and fluency were examined in nonword repetitions by 104 children and 22 adults. Stimuli were 22 pairs of nonwords, in which one nonword contained a low-frequency or unattested two-phoneme sequence and the other contained a high-frequency sequence. For a subset of these nonword pairs, segment durations were measured. The same sound was produced with a longer duration (less fluently) when it appeared in a low-frequency sequence, as compared to a high-frequency sequence. Low-frequency sequences were also repeated with lower accuracy than high-frequency sequences. Moreover, children with smaller vocabularies showed a larger influence of frequency on accuracy than children with larger vocabularies. Taken together, these results provide support for a model of phonological acquisition in which knowledge of sublexical units emerges from generalizations made over lexical items.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Grant 02932 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to Jan Edwards and by Training Grant T32 DC0051 from the National Institutes of Health to Robert A. Fox, which provided a traineeship to the third author. We thank the children who participated in the study, the parents who gave their consent, and the schools at which the data were collected. For assistance in stimuli preparation, data collection, and analysis, we thank Erin Casey, Lynn Carahaly, Lisa Draper, Melissa Epstein, Heidi Hochstetler, Maryann Holtschulte, Bridgett Isermann, Satako Katagiri, Laurie Vasicek, Amy Vitale, Pauline Welby, and David White.
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