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Phonological Development. Ages and Stages. Discussion Outline. Normal Developmental Stages Developmental Norms segmental norms vs phonological processes Theories of Phonological Acquisition Cognitive Model of Phonological Acquisition Components of Early Phonological Development

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discussion outline
Discussion Outline
  • Normal Developmental Stages
  • Developmental Norms
    • segmental norms vs phonological processes
  • Theories of Phonological Acquisition
    • Cognitive Model of Phonological Acquisition
  • Components of Early Phonological Development
  • Differences in Assessing Early vs Later Phonological Abilities
discussion outline continued
Discussion Outline (continued)
  • Types of Analyses
    • Independent + Relational
  • Profile of Typical 2 year old
  • Who are Late Talkers?
  • Profiles of “Late Talkers”
    • Rescorla & Ratner
    • Williams & Elbert
  • Develop a Protocol for Late Talkers
4 stages of development
4 Stages of Development
  • 1. Prelinguistic (0 - 1 year)
    • reflexive vocalizations
    • cooing
    • vocal play
    • babbling
    • variegated babbling
2 first words 1 1 6
2. First Words (1 - 1.6)
  • Whole-word strategy
  • Unanalyzed “wholes”
  • Progressive idioms
3 phonemic development 1 6 4
3. Phonemic Development (1.6 - 4)
  • Rule-governed strategy
  • 50 word vocabulary
4 stabilization
4. Stabilization
  • Acquisition of later sounds
developmental norms
Developmental Norms
  • Segmental acquisition studies
  • Phonological process norms
theories of phonological acquisition

Unfolding of abilities (linear progression)

passive learner

universal order of acq (all children develop in same way)


non-linear development

acti ve learner

individual differences

Theories of Phonological Acquisition
theories of phonological acquisition10

learning to pronounce is lower level skill-> developmental sequence

related to/constrained by anatomical/physio characteristics of human auditory/artic tracts

phonemes and individual sounds are the units of acquisition


acquisition of phono is cognitive process in the way child:

a. forms categories

b. recognizes patterns

c. forms rules

processes of acquis



hypothesis formation

Theories of Phonological Acquisition
summary of cognitive model of phonological acquisition
Process of Acquisition

whole-word acquisition (unanalyzed)

recognizes similarities b/w classes of sounds and constructs rules for relating similar sounds and formulate rules

develops a rule and applies it to other related items


progressive idioms


hypothesis formation

Summary of Cognitive Model of Phonological Acquisition
summary of cognitive model of phonological acquisition12
Process of Acquisition

Child’s categories not necessarily same as adult’s

Recognizes new and relevant information

Creates new rules


Overgeneralization/ Regression

Changes Hypotheses

Hypothesis Formation

Summary of Cognitive Model of Phonological Acquisition
3 components of early phonological development stoel gammon 1991
3 Components of Early Phonological Development (Stoel-Gammon, 1991)
  • General Patterns of Development
    • at 24 mo, generally have expressive vocab of ~ 300 words
    • ~ 50% of what they say is understood by strangers
    • by 3 yrs, 75% intelligibile with vocal of ~ 1000 wds and MLU of 3.1
3 components continued
3 Components (continued)
  • Individual Differences
    • Lot of variation among 2 year olds, but certain commonalities:
      • final inventory never greater than initial inventory
      • tendency for stops, nasals, glides before frics, liquids, affrics
      • front consonants appear before back consonants
3 components continued15
3 Components (continued)
  • Atypical Development / RED FLAGS
    • numerous vowel errors
    • frequent initial consonant deletion
    • substitution of glottal stop of [h] for various consonants
    • deletion of final consonants at 3 years
differences in assessing early vs later linguistic behaviors stoel gammon 1991
Differences in Assessing Early vs Later Linguistic Behaviors (Stoel-Gammon, 1991)
  • Given the tremendous individual variation in early development (babbling ->first words->word combinations), MUST use broad evaluations rather than focus on indidividual phonemes
  • Normal development at this age can’t be determined by comparing child’s performance with set of norms like those used for older children
stoel gammon 1991 continued
Stoel-Gammon (1991) Continued
  • Must include size and nature of phonetic inventory, correct productions, error types, and overall intelligibility (INDEPENDENT + RELATIONAL ANALYSES)
  • ALSO:
    • age of onset of meaningful speech
    • lexicon size
two types of analyses used in assessing younger children
Two Types of Analyses Used in Assessing Younger Children
  • Independent Analysis
    • focuses on the sound types and syllable structures produced by the child independent of the adult target
      • phonetic inventory (by WI/WF positions)
      • syllable structure
  • Relational Analysis
    • compares child’s pronunciation of word with adult form and identifies what is correct/ incorrect in relation to adult target
      • PCC
      • error patterns (phonological processes)
profile of typical 2 year old stoel gammon 1987
Profile of Typical 2 Year Old (Stoel-Gammon, 1987)
  • Syllable Structure
    • Simple structure
      • CV, CVC, CVCV, CVCVC
    • Few or no clusters
      • only WF
profile continued
Profile (continued)
  • Phonetic Inventory
    • Word-Initial Inventory
      • 9-10 different sounds
      • stops, nasals, frics, glides
    • Word-Final Inventory
      • 5-6 different sounds
      • primarily stops with some nasals, frics, liquids
profile continued21
Profile (continued)
  • Accuracy
    • about 70% accuracy
    • this suggests that children kept their vocabulary IN their phonology
who are late talkers
Who are “Late Talkers”?
  • At 24 months, child has < 50 word vocabulary; AND/OR
  • phonetic inventory with only 4-5 consonants and limited variety of vowels
phonetic profiles of toddlers with sli e rescorla ratner 1996
Phonetic Profiles of Toddlers with SLI-E (Rescorla & Ratner, 1996)
  • Variables that distinguished SLI-E children from TD children at 24-31 months included:
    • vocalization rate
      • SLI-E vocalized less
      • potentially perpetuate exp lang delay by losing opportunities for vocal practice
    • size of consonant inventory
      • SLI-E had restricted inventories (b,d, nasals, glides, h)
    • syllable shape preferences
      • SLI-E used V and CV shapes primarily
rescorla ratner conclusions
Rescorla & Ratner Conclusions
  • Results suggest that non-grammatical (I.e., phonetic) factors contribute to the development of expressive language deficits in toddlers
  • Suggest a bidirectional association between child vocalization and maternal interaction
    • limited phonetic capacity interacts with caregivers’ interactions in a way that further reduces opportunities for exp lang learning and practice
a prospective longitudinal study of phonological development in late talkers williams elbert 2003
A Prospective Longitudinal Study of Phonological Development in Late Talkers (Williams & Elbert, 2003)
  • Independent Analyses
    • Phonetic Inventory (WI/WF)
    • Syllable Structure
      • Preferences (frequency of occurrence) TOKEN
      • Complexity (clusters)
      • Diversity (# different syllable structures) TYPE
williams elbert continued
Williams & Elbert (continued)
  • Relational Analyses
    • PCC
    • Sound Variability (stability of sound system)
      • # diff cons attempted/# diff cons produced
        • no variability = 1.0
        • one-to-many correspondence (phoneme collapse) = > 1.0
        • many-to-one correspondence (free variation) = < 1.0
    • Error Patterns
    • MLU and Lexicon Size
phonological delay vs phonological deviance williams elbert 2001

Larger inventories

13-15 WI; 8-11 WF (at 32 months)

Greater syll diversity

9.2 different syllables at 22-33 mo

More complex syll

5.4 complex syllables at 22-33 months


Limited inventories

6-9 WI; 1-5 WF (at 32 months)

Limited syll diversity

7.5 different syllables at 30-41 mo

Simple syll structures

1.1 complex syllables at 30-41 months

Phonological Delay Vs Phonological Deviance (Williams & Elbert, 2001)
phonological delay vs phonological deviance williams elbert 200128

Higher PCC (.56) at 31-33 months

Lower variability (1.2) at 31-33 months

Typical errors

Fast rate of resolution


Lower PCC (.34) at 40-41 months

Greater variability (1.74) at 40-41 months

Atypical errors

Slow or no resolution

Phonological Delay Vs Phonological Deviance (Williams & Elbert, 2001)
conclusions williams elbert 2003
Conclusions (Williams & Elbert, 2003)
  • Quantitative aspects of phonological and language skills (inventory size, lexicon size, MLU) were NOT diagnostic markers for identifying DELAYED vs DEVIANT
  • Instead, qualitative differences (greater variability and unusual sound errors) were identified markers of long-term delay
    • However, the extent of the delay was greater for the kids who did not catch up
develop a protocol for assessing early linguistic behaviors of late talkers
Develop a Protocol for Assessing Early Linguistic Behaviors of Late Talkers
  • How would you elicit the sample?
  • How would you analyze the sample?
  • Complete Analysis on Nicholas
    • Go beyond analysis to synthesis/summary -> what is significant?
  • Diagnosis
    • Normal Vs Delayed Vs Deviant?
    • Compare results to Stoel-Gammon
      • a. Profile of typical 2 year old
      • b. Red flags
    • Compare results to Williams & Elbert’s Red Flags