Universal constraints on phonological acquisition?

This project aims to test

pijltje whether children show preferences for and better discrimination of word forms with particular place of articulation structures

pijltje whether this holds for perception and production, and

pijltjewhether such preferences are the result of universal constraints or the result of learning.

We will test infants at 4 months of age (i.e. before they show any language specific segmental effects) in discrimination and preferential looking experiments. This will be repeated at 8 (when listening is usually assumed to be language-specific) and at 12 months of age (when children start learning words). At six and ten months babbling data will be collected, and at 14 months early word production data. The results will yield important implications for both phonological theory (universality of constraints, the emergence and development of a phonological grammar), for our understanding of development in perception and production, and in the relationship between perception and production.

Researcher on the project

Nienke Dijkstra

Nienke Dijkstra (February 2009 – January 2013)

BungeWerk Webdesign

Radboud Universiteit