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×
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: Accepted 08 Aug 2011 , Received 27 Apr 2010 , Revised 15 Feb 2011
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research April 2012, Vol.55, 596-608. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0113)
History: Accepted 08 Aug 2011 , Received 27 Apr 2010 , Revised 15 Feb 2011

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.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access

Related Articles

Phonological Assessment and Analysis of Bilingual Preschoolers' Spanish and English Word Productions
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology February 2014, Vol., 1-10. doi:10.1044/2013_AJSLP-12-0132
Lexical and Phonological Variability in Preschool Children With Speech Sound Disorder
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology February 2014, Vol.23, 27-35. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0037)
Research in Brief: Good News for Internationally Adopted Children’s Phonological Processing Skills
The ASHA Leader February 2014, Vol.19, 16. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.19022014.16
Phonological Skills in English Language Learners
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 2014, Vol.45, 26-39. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-13-0009
Rate and Phonological Variation in Preschool Children: Effects of Modeling and Directed Influence
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research December 2013, Vol.56, 1751-1763. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0171)