The developmental realization of ejectives by typically developing Amharic speaking children


  • Fikre Diress Alamirew Addis Ababa University
  • Abebayehu Messele Mekonnen Addis Ababa University


The current study describes the developmental realization of ejectives by typically developing Amharic-speaking children. It employed cross-sectional research method in order to collect the primary children’s speeches data within a given period. Children’s speeches data were audio-recorded, using single-words, sentence repetition, and spontaneous elicitation mode tasks. The audio-recorded data were transcribed using IPA and ExtIPA and analyzed. The result obtained from, aged between 3; 0 a and 5; 0, 32 children indicated the different realizations of ejectives. Majority of this age bound children under this study produced the ejective/p’/,/t’/,/k’/,/t?’/and/s’/properly and had a target realization when the consonants appeared as a singleton in a word but if they were clustered, they  had a possibly to be dropped. On the other hand, there were some children, from different age groups, totally substituted these ejectives by their pulmonic counterparts as/p’/ [p],/t’/ [t],/t?’/ [t?],/k’/ [k]and/s’/ [s] and these developmental patterns detected in these children’s speeches were similar to ones, which have already been reported in other local languages (e.g. Sidamuu Affoo). However, the realization of the ejective /t’/ [th] and/t?’/ [th] or[t’]and /s’/ [t?’] were uniquely observed in aged between 3;10 and 5;0 three children’s production. Such developmental patterns detected at later age might pose surmise whether they are typically language-related or a sign of delay and it may require a depth study including more participants and designing particular task. Generally, this study confirmed that majority of Amharic speaking children were able to master the production of ejective consonants before at age four. However, the complete target realization of such consonants is likely a time taking process, which goes beyond the age bound in some children language development. This implies that some children require continues exposure to these consonants in different word positions and need to have oral practice at school and at home to foster the acquisition process.




How to Cite

Alamirew, F. . D., & Mekonnen, A. M. . (2021). The developmental realization of ejectives by typically developing Amharic speaking children. Journal of Child Language Acquisition and Development-JCLAD, 413–428. Retrieved from