14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

The Relationship between Perception and Production in Early Phonological Development

Marilyn May Vihman

School of Psychology, University of Wales, Bangor, UK

Salient prosodic patterns are the first aspect of the ambient language that children recognize. Familiarity with segmental patterns is displayed only after the first adult-like (canonical) syllables are produced. In babbling, children develop voluntary production control over a small number of segmental patterns (vocal motor schemes); these are the basis for their first word forms. We hypothesize that precocious talkers are sensitive to matches between their own production patterns and similar forms in input speech, a linking mechanism we term the ‘articulatory filter’. In contrast, later words reveal systematicity in word production, evidenced in idiosyncratic word templates, as well as semantic categories and relations not found in the first words. Ongoing increases in the variety of word forms produced widen the range of familiar items so that continued processing of input speech can lead to familarity with prosodically less salient (unstressed) words or morphemes.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vihman, Marilyn May (1999): "The relationship between perception and production in early phonological development", In ICPhS-14, 1269-1272.