The influence of dialectal variation on phonological acquisition: A case study on the acquisition of Cantonese

Sou Mee Tse, David Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 [1] and [n] as freely varying allophones of a single phoneme. In the first months, [n] was the most frequent realization of the phoneme, with [1] 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-294
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child Language
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 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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