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Dutch and German 3-year-olds’ representations of voicing alternations

Buckler, Helen; Fikkert, Paula

Authors

Paula Fikkert p.fikkert@let.ru.nl



Abstract

The voicing contrast is neutralised syllable and word finally in Dutch and German, leading to alternations within the morphological paradigm (e.g. Dutch ‘bed(s)’, be[t] be[d]en, German ‘dog(s)’, Hun[t]-Hun[d]e). Despite structural similarity, language-specific morphological, phonological and lexical properties impact on the distribution of this alternation in the two languages. Previous acquisition research has focused on one language only, predominantly focusing on children’s production accuracy, concluding that alternations are not acquired until late in the acquisition process in either language. This paper adapts a perceptual method to investigate how voicing alternations are represented in the mental lexicon of Dutch and German 3-year-olds. Sensitivity to mispronunciations of voicing word-medially in plural forms was measured using a visual fixation procedure. Dutch children exhibited evidence of overgeneralising the voicing alternation, whereas German children consistently preferred the correct pronunciation to mispronunciations. Results indicate that the acquisition of voicing alternations is influenced by language-specific factors beyond the alternation itself.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Language and Speech
Print ISSN 0023-8309
Electronic ISSN 1756-6053
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 59
Issue 2
APA6 Citation Buckler, H., & Fikkert, P. (in press). Dutch and German 3-year-olds’ representations of voicing alternations. Language and Speech, 59(2), https://doi.org/10.1177/0023830915587038
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0023830915587038
Keywords Language acquisition, lexical representation, cross-language, alternations, morphophonology
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0023830915587038
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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