Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Trajectories of faithfulness in child-specific phonology*

  • Michael Becker (a1) and Anne-Michelle Tessier (a2)

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence and analysis of gradual and U-shaped phonological learning. Using a rich longitudinal corpus from Trevor (Compton & Streeter 1977, Pater 1997b) we demonstrate that some of Trevor's consonant harmony follows a statistically significant U-shaped trajectory, in contrast to the more typical S-shaped progression of his complex onsets. We then analyse these two developmental paths using an OT model of phonological acquisition (Hayes 2004, Prince & Tesar 2004, Tessier 2007, 2009), in which the learner's variation within and across stages is the effect of stored old productions rather than a variable grammar. The decrease in Trevor's faithfulness to place of articulation due to consonant harmony is attributed to the induction of a new constraint during the course of learning. Our analysis is paired with a computational implementation, showing how competition between old forms and the current grammar allows the model to derive both S-shaped and U-shaped patterns.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Albright, Adam, Magri, Giorgio & Michaels, Jennifer (2008). Modeling doubly marked lags with a split additive model. In Chan, Harvey, Jacob, Heather & Kapia, Enkeleida (eds.) Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla. 3647.
Baayen, R. H. (2008). Analyzing linguistic data: a practical introduction to statistics using R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bat-El, Outi (2010). Harmonic domains and synchronization in typically and atypically developing Hebrew-speaking children. Ms, Tel Aviv University.
Bates, David & Maechler, Martin (2009). Package ‘lme4’ (Version 0.999375-32): linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes. Available (April 2011) at http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/lme4/lme4.pdf.
Berko, Jean & Brown, Roger (1960). Psycholinguistic research methods. In Mussen, Paul H. (ed.) Handbook of research methods in child development. New York: Wiley. 517557.
Bernhardt, Barbara H. & Stemberger, Joseph P. (1998). Handbook of phonological development from the perspective of constraint-based nonlinear phonology. San Diego: Academic Press.
Bleile, Ken M. & Tomblim, J. Bruce (1991). Regressions in the phonological development of two children. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 20. 483499.
Boersma, Paul (1997). How we learn variation, optionality, and probability. Proceedings of the Institute of Phonetic Sciences of the University of Amsterdam 21. 4358.
Boersma, Paul (1998). Functional phonology: formalizing the interactions between articulatory and perceptual drives. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
Boersma, Paul & Hayes, Bruce (2001). Empirical tests of the Gradual Learning Algorithm. LI 32. 4586.
Boersma, Paul & Levelt, Clara C. (2000). Gradual constraint-ranking learning algorithm predicts acquisition order. In Clark, Eve V. (ed.) Proceedings of the 30th Child Language Research Forum. Stanford: CSLI. 229237.
Boersma, Paul & Pater, Joe (2007). Constructing constraints from language data: the case of Canadian English diphthongs. Paper presented at the 38th Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, University of Ottawa.
Bowerman, Melissa (1982). Starting to talk worse: clues to language acquisition from children's late speech errors. In Strauss, Sidney (ed.) U-shaped behavioral growth. New York: Academic Press. 101145.
Chiat, Shulamuth (1983). Why Mikey's right and my key's wrong: the significance of stress and word boundaries in a child's output system. Cognition 14. 275300.
Clahsen, Harald (1999). Lexical entries and rules of language: a multidisciplinary study of German inflection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22. 991–1013.
Compton, A. J. & Streeter, M. (1977). Child phonology: data collection and preliminary analyses. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development 13. 99–109.
Crawley, Michael J. (2007). The R book. Chichester: Wiley.
Curtin, Suzanne & Zuraw, Kie (2002). Explaining constraint demotion in a developing system. In Skarabela, Barbora, Fish, Sarah & Do, Anna H.-J. (eds.) Proceedings of the 26th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla. 118129.
Dinnsen, Daniel A. & Elbert, Mary (1984). On the relationship between phonology and learning. In Elbert, Mary, Dinnsen, Daniel A. & Weismer, Gary (eds.) Phonological theory and the misarticulating child. Rockville, Md.: ASHA. 5968.
Ferguson, Charles A. & Farwell, Carol B. (1975). Words and sounds in early language acquisition. Lg 51. 419439.
Fikkert, Paula (1994). On the acquisition of prosodic structure. PhD dissertation, University of Leiden.
Fikkert, Paula & Levelt, Clara C. (2008). How does Place fall into place? The lexicon and emergent constraints in children's developing phonological grammar. In Avery, Peter, Dresher, B. Elan & Rice, Keren (eds.) Contrast in phonology: theory, perception, acquisition. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 231268.
Flack, Kathryn (2007). The sources of phonological markedness. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Gnanadesikan, Amalia (2004). Markedness and faithfulness constraints in child phonology. In Kager et al. (2004). 73–108.
Goad, Heather (1997). Consonant harmony in child language: an optimality-theoretic account. In Hannahs, S. J. & Young-Scholten, Martha (eds.) Focus on phonological acquisition. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 113142.
Goad, Heather (2001). Assimilation phenomena and initial constraint ranking in early grammars. In Do, Anna H.-J., Domínguez, Laura & Johansen, Aimee (eds.) Proceedings of the 25th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla. 307318.
Goldwater, Sharon & Johnson, Mark (2003). Learning OT constraint rankings using a Maximum Entropy model. In Spenador, Jennifer, Eriksson, Anders & Dahl, Östen (eds.) Proceedings of the Stockholm Workshop on Variation within Optimality Theory. Stockholm: Stockholm University. 111120.
Hale, Mark & Reiss, Charles (1998). Formal and empirical arguments concerning phonological acquisition. LI 29. 656683.
Hansson, Gunnar Ólafur (2001). Theoretical and typological issues in consonant harmony. PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
Hayes, Bruce (1999). Phonetically driven phonology: the role of Optimality Theory and inductive grounding. In Darnell, Michael, Moravcsik, Edith, Newmeyer, Frederick, Noonan, Michael & Wheatley, Kathleen (eds.) Functionalism and formalism in linguistics. Vol. 1: General papers. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 243285.
Hayes, Bruce (2004). Phonological acquisition in Optimality Theory: the early stages. In Kager et al. (2004). 158203.
Hayes, Bruce & Wilson, Colin (2008). A maximum entropy model of phonotactics and phonotactic learning. LI 39. 379440.
Ingram, David (1974). Phonological rules in young children. Journal of Child Language 1. 4964.
Inkelas, Sharon & Rose, Yvan (2008). Positional neutralization: a case study from child language. Lg 83. 707736.
Jarosz, Gaja (2006). Rich lexicons and restrictive grammars: maximum likelihood learning in Optimality Theory. PhD dissertation, Johns Hopkins University.
Jarosz, Gaja (2009). Effects of lexical frequency and phonotactics on learning of morphophonological alternations. Paper presented at the workshop ‘Learning meets acquisition: the learnability of linguistic frameworks from formal and cognitive perspectives’, 31st Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, Osnabrück.
Jaynes, E. T. (2003). Probability theory: the logic of science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jesney, Karen (2007). The locus of variation in weighted constraint grammars. Poster presented at the workshop ‘Variation, gradience and frequency in phonology’, Stanford University.
Kager, René, Pater, Joe & Zonneveld, Wim (eds.) (2004). Constraints in phonological acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kazazis, Kostas (1969). Possible evidence for (near-)underlying forms in the speech of one child. CLS 5. 382388.
Kiparsky, Paul (2003). Syllables and moras in Arabic. In Féry, Caroline & de Vijver, Ruben van (eds.) The syllable in Optimality Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 147182.
Kiparsky, Paul & Menn, Lise (1977). On the acquisition of phonology. In Macnamara, John (ed.) Language learning and thought. New York: Academic Press. 4778.
Labov, William (1963). The social motivation of a sound change. Word 19. 273309.
Leopold, Werner F. (1939). Speech development of a bilingual child: a linguist's record. Vol. 1: Vocabulary growth in the first two years. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University.
Leopold, Werner F. (1947). Speech development of a bilingual child: a linguist's record. Vol. 2: Sound-learning in the first two years. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Levelt, Clara C. (1994). On the acquisition of place. PhD dissertation, University of Leiden.
Levelt, Clara C. & van Oostendorp, Marc (2007). Feature co-occurrence constraints in L1 acquisition. In Los, Bettelou & van Koppen, Marjo (eds.) Linguistics in the Netherlands 2007. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 162172.
Macken, Marlys A. & Ferguson, Charles A. (1981). Phonological universals in language acquisition. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 379. 110129.
MacWhinney, Brian (1978). The acquisition of morphophonology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Maratsos, Michael (2000). More overregularizations after all: new data and discussion on Marcus, Pinker, Ullman, Hollander, Rosen & Xu. Journal of Child Language 27. 183212.
Marcus, G. F., Pinker, S., Ullman, M., Hollander, M., Rosen, T. J. & Xu, Fei (1992). Overregularisations in language acquisition. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 57.
Menn, Lise (1976). Pattern, control, and contrast in beginning speech: a case study in the development of word form and word function. PhD dissertation, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Menn, Lise (1983). Development of articulatory, phonetic, and phonological capabilities. In Butterworth, B. (ed.) Language production. Vol. 2: Development, writing, and other language processes. London: Academic Press. 350.
Menn, Lise & Matthei, Edward (1992). The ‘two-lexicon’ account of child phonology: looking back, looking ahead. In Ferguson, Charles A., Menn, Lise & Stoel-Gammon, Carol (eds.) Phonological development: models, research, implications. Timonium, Md.: York Press. 211247.
Moreton, Elliott (2004). Non-computable functions in Optimality Theory. In McCarthy, John J. (ed.) Optimality Theory in phonology: a reader. Malden, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell. 141163.
Moreton, Elliott (2010). Connecting paradigmatic and syntagmatic simplicity bias in phonotactic learning. Paper presented at MIT.
Moskowitz, Arlene I. (1970). The two-year-old stage in the acquisition of English phonology. Lg 46. 426441.
Moskowitz, Arlene I. (1973). The acquisition of phonology and syntax: a preliminary study. In Hintikka, K. J. J., Moravcsik, J. M. E. & Suppes, P. (eds.) Approaches to natural language: Proceedings of the 1970 Stanford Workshop on Grammar and Semantics. Dordrecht & Boston: Reidel. 4884.
Mudelsee, Manfred (2010). Climate time series analysis: classical statistical and bootstrap methods. Dordrecht: Springer.
Pater, Joe (1997a). Consequences of constraint ranking. PhD dissertation, McGill University.
Pater, Joe (1997b). Minimal violation and phonological development. Language Acquisition 6. 201253.
Pater, Joe & Barlow, Jessica A. (2003). Constraint conflict in cluster reduction. Journal of Child Language 30. 487526.
Pater, Joe & Werle, Adam (2001). Typology and variation in child consonant harmony. In Féry, Caroline, Green, Antony Dubach & de Vijver, Ruben van (eds.) Proceedings of HILP 5. Potsdam: University of Potsdam. 119139.
Pater, Joe & Werle, Adam (2003). Direction of assimilation in child consonant harmony. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 48. 385408.
Prince, Alan (2002). Arguing Optimality. In Carpenter, Angela C., Coetzee, Andries W. & de Lacy, Paul (eds.) Papers in Optimality Theory II. Amherst: GLSA. 269304.
Prince, Alan & Smolensky, Paul (1993). Optimality Theory: constraint interaction in generative grammar. Ms, Rutgers University & University of Colorado, Boulder. Published 2004, Malden, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell.
Prince, Alan & Tesar, Bruce (2004). Learning phonotactic distributions. In Kager et al. (2004). 245291.
R Development Core Team (2007). R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Available (April 2011) at http://www.r-project.org.
Rose, Yvan (2000). Headedness and prosodic licensing in the L1 acquisition of phonology. PhD dissertation, McGill University.
Smith, Neil V. (1973). The acquisition of phonology: a case study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, Neil V. (2010). Acquiring phonology: a cross-generational case-study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smolensky, Paul & Legendre, Géraldine (2006). The harmonic mind: from neural computation to optimality-theoretic grammar. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Stemberger, Joseph P. & Bernhardt, Barbara H. (2001). U-shaped learning in language acquisition, and restrictions on error correction. Available as ROA-472 from the Rutgers Optimality Archive.
Stemberger, Joseph P., Bernhardt, Barbara H. & Johnson, Carolyn (2001). U-shaped learning in phonological development. Available as ROA-471 from the Rutgers Optimality Archive.
Steyvers, Mark & Brown, Scott (2006). Prediction and change detection. In Weiss, Yair, Scholkopf, Bernhard & Platt, John (eds.) Advances in neural information processing systems. Vol. 18. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. 12811288.
Stoel-Gammon, Carol (1996). On the acquisition of velars in English. In Bernhardt, Barbara H., Gilbert, John & Ingram, David (eds.) Proceedings of the UBC International Conference on Phonological Acquisition. Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla. 201214.
Suomi, Kari, Toivanen, Juhani & Ylitalo, Riikka (2008). Finnish sound structure. Oulu: University of Oulo.
Tesar, Bruce & Smolensky, Paul (2000). Learnability in Optimality Theory. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Tessier, Anne-Michelle (2007). Biases and stages in phonological acquisition. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Tessier, Anne-Michelle (2009). Frequency of violation and constraint-based phonological learning. Lingua 119. 6–38.
Ullrich, Angela, Stemberger, Joseph P. & Bernhardt, B. May (2008). Variability in a German-speaking child as viewed from a constraint-based nonlinear phonology perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing 11. 221238.
Vihman, Marilyn (1978). Consonant harmony: its scope and function in child language. In Greenberg, Joseph H., Ferguson, Charles A. & Moravcsik, Edith A. (eds.) Universals of human language. Vol. 2: Phonology. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 281334.
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Becker and Tessier supplementary data
R and Perl scripts

 Unknown (10 KB)
10 KB
EXCEL
Supplementary materials

Becker and Tessier supplementary data
sim.harmony.TVK

 Excel (7.6 MB)
7.6 MB
EXCEL
Supplementary materials

Becker and Tessier supplementary data
sim.onsets

 Excel (6.6 MB)
6.6 MB
EXCEL
Supplementary materials

Becker and Tessier supplementary data
trevor_complex_onsets

 Excel (604 KB)
604 KB
EXCEL
Supplementary materials

Becker and Tessier supplementary data
trevor_harmony

 Excel (1.8 MB)
1.8 MB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Becker and Tessier supplementary material
Supplementary information

 PDF (55 KB)
55 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed