The Role of Distinctive Features in Children’s Acquisition of Phonology This investigation studied the acquisition and proportion of correct usage of consonants by Japanese and American children; the consonant substitutions of children developing normal language and of children with articulation problems; and confusion in adults' recall of consonants. A system of distinctive features (gravity, diffuseness, stridency, nasality, continuancy, and voicing) ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1968
The Role of Distinctive Features in Children’s Acquisition of Phonology
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula Menyuk
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1968
The Role of Distinctive Features in Children’s Acquisition of Phonology
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1968, Vol. 11, 138-146. doi:10.1044/jshr.1101.138
History: Received September 1, 1967
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1968, Vol. 11, 138-146. doi:10.1044/jshr.1101.138
History: Received September 1, 1967

This investigation studied the acquisition and proportion of correct usage of consonants by Japanese and American children; the consonant substitutions of children developing normal language and of children with articulation problems; and confusion in adults' recall of consonants. A system of distinctive features (gravity, diffuseness, stridency, nasality, continuancy, and voicing) was used to describe the behavior observed.

It was found that features played a hierarchical role in terms of acquisition and proportion of correct usage, as well as in terms of resistance to perceptual and productive confusion. The features also played differing roles depending on the task, the age of the subjects, and their status in learning the sound system of their language.

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