Truncation Patterns in English-Speaking Children's Word Productions This study examines English-speaking children's truncation patterns (i.e., syllable deletion patterns) in multisyllabic words to determine if they are consistent with metrical constraints or perceptual biases. It also examines segmental influences on children's truncations. Children, age 22–34 months, produced three-syllable novel and real words and four-syllable real words, which varied ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1997
Truncation Patterns in English-Speaking Children's Word Productions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret Kehoe
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of Washington Seattle
  • Carol Stoel-Gammon
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of Washington Seattle
  • Currently affiliated with the Speech Communication Department, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
    Currently affiliated with the Speech Communication Department, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1997
Truncation Patterns in English-Speaking Children's Word Productions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 526-541. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.526
History: Received February 13, 1996 , Accepted December 4, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 526-541. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.526
History: Received February 13, 1996; Accepted December 4, 1996

This study examines English-speaking children's truncation patterns (i.e., syllable deletion patterns) in multisyllabic words to determine if they are consistent with metrical constraints or perceptual biases. It also examines segmental influences on children's truncations. Children, age 22–34 months, produced three-syllable novel and real words and four-syllable real words, which varied across stress and segmental pattern. Results revealed a significant stress pattern effect on truncation rate, but findings were not consistent with metrical or perceptual salience predictions. The clearest account of the findings came from an analysis of truncation rate across individual words: Children truncated WSW (weak-strong-weak) words and words that contained intervocalic sonorants more frequently than other words. Analysis of truncation patterns in SWW and SWSW words revealed that final unstressed syllables were more frequently preserved than nonfinal unstressed syllables. Findings support the interaction between metrical, syllabic, and acoustic salience factors in children's multisyllabic word productions.

Acknowledgments
This research is based on the first author’s doctoral dissertation study conducted at the University of Washington
under the direction of Carol Stoel-Gammon. The work was supported in part by a University of Washington Royalty Research Fund (Grant No. 65-9757) and by a Hall- Ammerer-WRF Interdisciplinary Dissertation Fellowship. We would like to thank the parents and children who participated in the study, Kathleen Kurpiel for data collection, and Karen Gilham for her contribution to the reliability portion of the study.
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