The Emerging Lexicon of Children With Phonological Delays Phonotactic Constraints and Probability in Acquisition Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2004
The Emerging Lexicon of Children With Phonological Delays
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Holly L. Storkel
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: hstorkel@ku.edu
  • Contact author: Holly L. Storkel, PhD, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, University of Kansas, 3001 Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 660457555. E-mail: hstorkel@ku.edu
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2004
The Emerging Lexicon of Children With Phonological Delays
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1194-1212. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/088)
History: Received June 28, 2003 , Accepted February 15, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1194-1212. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/088)
History: Received June 28, 2003; Accepted February 15, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 56

The effects of phonotactic constraints (i.e., the status of a sound as correctly or incorrectly articulated) and phonotactic probability (i.e., the likelihood of a sound sequence) on lexical acquisition have been investigated independently. This study investigated the interactive influence of phonotactic constraints and phonotactic probability on lexical acquisition in 3 groups of children: children with functional phonological delays (PD), phonology-matched, younger, typically developing children (PM), and age-/vocabulary-matched typically developing peers (AVM). Sixty-eight children participated in a multitrial word-learning task involving nonwords varying in phonotactic constraints (IN vs. OUT) and phonotactic probability (common vs. rare). Correct and error responses were analyzed. Results indicated that OUT sound sequences were learned more rapidly than IN sound sequences. This suggests that OUT sounds may be salient because they represent only a small subset of the child's sound system. The effect of phonotactic probability varied across groups: Children with PD showed a common sound sequence disadvantage, younger PM children showed a common sound sequence advantage, and AVM children showed no effect. Moreover, error analyses indicated that children with PD had particular difficulty creating lexical representations and associations between lexical and semantic representations when learning common sound sequences. Children with PD may rely more heavily on lexical representations to learn new words or may have difficulty learning common sound sequences because of the high degree of similarity between these sequences and other known words. Finally, the effect of phonotactic probability was consistent across IN and OUT sound sequences, suggesting that the lexical representation of both correctly articulated and misarticulated words is based on the adult-target pronunciation.

Acknowledgments
The initial portion of this work was conducted at Indiana University. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants DC04781, DC01694, and DC00012 and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. The following people contributed to stimulus preparation, data collection, data entry, and reliability: Karen Bartholow, Aaron Brown, Wade Burtchet, Dana Lazar, Rebecca DeLong, Tiffany Hogan, Maki Sueto, Mariam Syeda, Kelli Stanfield, and Junko Young. Judith Gierut provided comments regarding study design, and Michael Vitevitch aided in the computation of the phonotactic probabilities. These contributions are greatly appreciated.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access