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

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

The Acquisition of the Welsh Lateral Fricative

Martin J. Ball (1), Nicole Müller (2)

(1) University of Ulster; (2) Cardiff University; UK

We report here on a study into the acquisition of Welsh phonology in bilingual Welsh-English children. We concentrate on the acquisition of the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative. This showed a wide range of substitutions, and differential patterns of development dependant on the subject's dominant language, and the position within the word of the target. Various substitution strategies are described, including fricatives, and fricatives plus lateral. It is noted that in these two categories, velar fricatives become increasingly common in later age ranges, especially with the English dominant speakers. It is argued that this is because, unlike front fricatives, the velar fricative shares several important acoustic characteristics with the lateral fricative: a formant-like structure and the same top limit to the noise spectra.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ball, Martin J. / Müller, Nicole (1999): "The acquisition of the Welsh lateral fricative", In ICPhS-14, 2201-2204.