A Phonemic Implicational Feature Hierarchy of Phonological Contrasts for English-Speaking Children Contrastive feature hierarchies have been developed and used for some time in depicting typical phonological development and in guiding therapy decisions. Previous descriptions of feature use have been based on independent analyses and usually phonetic inventories. However, recent trends in phonology include a relational analysis of phonemic inventories (D. Ingram ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2005
A Phonemic Implicational Feature Hierarchy of Phonological Contrasts for English-Speaking Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephanie F. Stokes
    University of Reading, United Kingdom
  • Thomas Klee
    University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Cecyle Perry Carson
    University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • David Carson
    University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: s.stokes@rdg.ac.uk
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2005
A Phonemic Implicational Feature Hierarchy of Phonological Contrasts for English-Speaking Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2005, Vol. 48, 817-833. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/057)
History: Received March 11, 2004 , Revised August 5, 2004 , Accepted December 9, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2005, Vol. 48, 817-833. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/057)
History: Received March 11, 2004; Revised August 5, 2004; Accepted December 9, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Contrastive feature hierarchies have been developed and used for some time in depicting typical phonological development and in guiding therapy decisions. Previous descriptions of feature use have been based on independent analyses and usually phonetic inventories. However, recent trends in phonology include a relational analysis of phonemic inventories (D. Ingram & K. D. Ingram, 2001). The current investigation was a relational analysis of the phonemic inventories of 40 typically developing 2-year-old American-English-speaking children. Consonant inventories were derived from spontaneous speech samples using the Logical International Phonetics Programs computer software (D. K. Oller & R. E. Delgado, 1999). Cluster analysis was used to determine the grouping of contrastive features. Four levels emerged. Level I included [consonant], [sonorant], and [coronal], Level II included [voice], Level III included [anterior], [continuant], and [nasal], and Level IV included [lateral] and [strident]. Results suggested that the resulting 4-level phonemic feature hierarchy might be used to classify the phonological systems of children with phonological disorders.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a University of Wyoming Kahn Foundation grant to Cecyle Perry and a University of Wyoming Faculty Grant-in-Aid to Thomas Klee and David Carson. We thank Layne Heyerly Fisher for her work in transcribing the conversational samples.
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