The phonological acquisition of a young girl whose parents spoke two dialects of Cantonese was examined. The father's dialect had a phonological distinction between initial /l/ and /n/ which was merged into /l/ in the mother's dialect. The child was followed bi-weekly for approximately one year. The results indicate that she acquired neither the mother's nor the father's dialect. Instead, she acquired  and [n] as freely varying allophones of a single phoneme. In the first months, [n] was the most frequent realization of the phoneme, with  becoming the most frequent one in later sessions. The results are interpreted as supporting the claim that children use all available input in acquiring language rather than limiting themselves to a primary language model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language