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Title: The relation between order of acquisition, segmental frequency and function: the case of word-initial consonants in Dutch
Authors: Van Severen, Lieve
Gillis, Joris
Molemans, Inge
van den Berge, Renate
De Maeyer, Sven
Gillis, Steven # ×
Issue Date: Sep-2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Series Title: Journal of Child Language vol:40 issue:4 pages:703-740
Abstract: The impact of input frequency (IF) and functional load (FL) of segments in the ambient language on the acquisition order of word-initial consonants is investigated. Several definitions of IF/FL are compared and implemented. The impact of IF/FL and their components are computed using a longitudinal corpus of interactions between thirty Dutch-speaking children (age range: 0 ; 6–2 ; 0) and their primary caretaker(s). The corpus study reveals significant correlations between IF/FL and acquisition order. The highest predictive values are found for the token frequency of segments, and for FL computed on minimally different word types in child-directed speech. Although IF and FL significantly correlate, they do have a different impact on the order of acquisition of word-initial consonants. When the impact of IF is partialed out, FL still has a significant correlation with acquisition order. The reverse is not true, suggesting that the acquisition of word-initial consonants is mainly influenced by their discriminating function.
ISSN: 0305-0009
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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