Trajectory of liquid production in typically developing children: European Portuguese
Dependence relationship between segmental and syllabic acquisition has been described in several languages phonological acquisition. In European Portuguese, there are only two segments (/l/ and /?/) licensed in all syllabic position: Onset, Onset cluster and Coda. This paper describes cross-sectional data for /l/ and /?/ in all syllable position in typically developing children aged 3 to 5 years old, contributing with empirical data from European Portuguese to the dependence relationship between segmental and syllabic acquisition. A native speaker audio-recorded and transcribed single words in an original spontaneous picture naming task, allowing eliciting words in connected speech. Results show a dependence relationship between segmental and syllabic acquisition consistent with previous research on European Portuguese. Onset /l/ and /?/ were in advance of /l/ and /?/ clusters and Coda. Both segments have different paths in acquisition: /l/ stabilizes first in Onset cluster and later in Coda, whilst the rhotic stabilizes first in Coda and later in Onset cluster. Besides the syllable constituent, along with the syllable position in the word, was relevant for the stabilization of liquid consonants: contrary to lateral Coda, rhotic Coda acquisition stabilizes first in word-final position and only later within word. Finally, the prosodic variable tonicity was also relevant for the acquisition of within-word rhotic Coda: it is acquired earlier in stressed syllable and later in unstressed syllable.
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