Account and Acquisition of Hiatus Resolution: /r/-Linking and /r/-Intrusion Open Access

Naber, Christopher (2015)

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A corpus-based study was conducted examining the development of two features, /r/-linking and /r/-intrusion, in the speech of a child from age 2;0 to 4;11. This was compared to the speech of his primary caregiver during the same period. Findings show that /r/-linking and /r/-intrusion, though often viewed together by theoretical accounts, follow along different developmental timelines, suggesting that they are governed by different rules and represent distinct linguistic phenomena. This is corroborated by the adult's speech using /r/-intrusion proportionately less than /r/-linking, and /r/-intrusion being sensitive to aspects of vowel quality and stress. In the child's speech, /r/-linking first appeared earlier relative to /r/-intrusion (2;2 compared to 2;11), /r/-linking enjoyed a "growth spurt" sooner (3;0 compared to 3;6), however, neither phenomenon reached adult-like levels of usage by 4;11. The function word to was also considered in hiatus contexts and shows elements of allomorphy between its long and short/reduced form. Overall, findings suggest that /r/-linking and /r/-intrusion are distinct phenomena, and that /r/-intrusion may be more complex, calling on higher-level linguistic processes than simply phonology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 1

2. Previous Work on /r/-Effects

2.1 Theoretical Background: McCarthy (1993) and Nespor and Vogel (1986) 3

2.2 Empirical Research: Mompeán-Gonzalez and Mompeán-Guillamón (2009) 4

2.3 Sociolinguistic Factors: Foulkes (1997) 6

2.4 Child Language Acquisition: Newton and Wells (2002) 9

2.5 Positioning the Current Study 10

3. Method

3.1 Overview of Method 11

3.2 Corpus and Analysis Tools 11

3.3 Data Collection 12

3.4 Features Encoded 13

3.5 Determining Eligibility 15

4. Results

4.1 Mother

4.1.1 /r/-Linking 15

4.1.2 /r/-Intrusion 17

4.1.3 Vowel Quality 17

4.2 Child

4.2.1 /r/-Linking 19

4.2.2 /r/-Intrusion 21

4.2.3 Vowel Quality 23

4.3 Function Words 23

5. Discussion

5.1 Adult Speech 25

5.2 Developmental Trends 25

5.3 Vowel Quality 26

5.4 Function Words 27

5.5 Overgeneralizations 28

5.6 Limitations 29

5.7 Future Research 29

6. Conclusion 30

7. References 32

8. Appendices

8.1 Appendix A--Child's Hiatus Resolution Types in /r/-Linking Contexts 34

8.2 Appendix B--Child's Hiatus Resolution Types in /r/-Intrusion Contexts 36

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