Article  |   April 2012
Lexical and Phonological Effects in Early Word Production
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anna V. Sosa
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Carol Stoel-Gammon
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Correspondence to Anna V. Sosa: anna.sosa@nau.edu
  • Anna V. Sosa is now at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.
    Anna V. Sosa is now at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.×
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Susan Rvachew
    Associate Editor: Susan Rvachew×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   April 2012
Lexical and Phonological Effects in Early Word Production
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 596-608. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0113)
History: Received April 27, 2010 , Revised February 15, 2011 , Accepted August 8, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 596-608. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0113)
History: Received April 27, 2010; Revised February 15, 2011; Accepted August 8, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose: This study examines the influence of word frequency, phonological neighborhood density (PND), age of acquisition (AoA), and phonotactic probability on production variability and accuracy of known words by toddlers with no history of speech, hearing, or language disorders.

Method: Fifteen toddlers between 2;0 (years;months) and 2;5 produced monosyllabic target words varying in word frequency, PND, AoA, and phonotactic probability. Phonetic transcription was used to determine (a) whole-word variability and (b) proportion of whole-word proximity (PWP; Ingram, 2002) of each target word produced.

Results: Results show a significant effect of PND on PWP and variability (words from dense neighborhoods had higher PWP and lower variability than those from sparse neighborhoods), a significant effect of word frequency on variability (high-frequency words were less variable) but not proximity, and a significant effect of AoA on proximity (earlier acquired words had lower PWP) but not variability.

Conclusions: Results provide new information regarding the role that lexical and phonological factors play in the speech of young children; specifically, several factors are identified that influence variability of production. Additionally, by examining lexical and phonological factors simultaneously, the current study isolates differential effects of the individual factors. Implications for our understanding of emerging phonological representations are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research is based on the unpublished doctoral dissertation of the first author. This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 1 F31 DC008016-01 and by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Student Research Grant in Early Childhood Language. The following individuals contributed to data coding and transcription: Karen Alexander, Amber Franklin, Carlos Nye, Vanessa Wilken, and Ru-Shin Shieh.
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