Individual variation and its relevance to a theory of phonological acquisition

Heather Goad, David Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Stoel-Gammon & Cooper (1984) have recently presented phonological analyses in this journal of three children acquiring English. Their general conclusion is that the three children are each following their own unique pattern of acquisition. This paper is a response to that conclusion. We first point out that such research needs to distinguish different possible causes of variation. We then go on to criticize the method of analysis they used, arguing that it disposes the results towards individual variation. Next, we present an alternative analysis, using a different methodology, and show that the children's patterns of acquisition are actually relatively similar. Lastly, we conclude that both their and our results provide evidence for early phonological processing in opposition to the biological model presented in Locke (1983).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-432
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)


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