Phonological Method

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Introduction. The acquisition of the plural is dependent on multiple phonological factors that can influence the production and comprehension of the plural marker. In Spanish, the rules of plural marking are simple and considering only non-verb words, the effect of stress preceding the plural marker could determine how the plural is acquired. If the word ends in an unstressed vowel, then simply /-s/ is added onto the word; if the word ends in a stressed vowel (except é) or a consonant, then /-es/ is added; and if the word ends in an unstressed vowel followed by s, then the plural form is the same. Considering these rules, there are other elements that have to agree with the plural tense, one of them being determiners. The articles that…show more content…
Moreover, the roles of prosody in a sentence structure have also been examined(Lleó), but the impact of lexical stress alone, on the types of phonological errors that children produce might be an important indication of whether slower rate of acquisition of the plural is due to the inability to comprehend the function or due to typical developmental difficulties. Since there are 2 regular stress types in Spanish that account for 90% of the non-verb words (Hochberg), the acquisition of the plural for those regular types is assumed to be produced correctly early in development. To test this assumption in this longitudinal study, the role of lexical stress on the types of phonological errors produced and the timing of acquisition of the plural markers is examined and the agreement with the determiner is also considered. Furthermore, given the assumption that masculine nouns have 2 different markers of plurality, is there a difference between the acquisition of feminine articles versus…show more content…
At age 1;7.48 (MLU 2.44), article deletion was still common along with initial consonant deletion of the word as well as cluster reduction and syncope; for example, los pies [los pjes] pronounced as ['pes]. At age 1;8.75 (MLU 2.475), there were multiple errors including article deletion as the most common, followed by errors within the article such as removing the consonants; as in las patatas [las paˈtatas] being pronounced as [a paˈtatas], as well as number disagreement between the noun and article, and one case of reduplication where los osos [los 'osos], was produced as [a'soso]. Moving along the age range, at 1;9.146 (MLU 2.539), there were still article errors present, in addition to assimilation of the sounds such as pronouncing las medias [laz ˈmeðjas] as [a ˈmeja]. At age 2;4.451 (MLU 5.303), errors of the article and its agreement with the noun were still present, accompanying cluster reduction; for instance, pronouncing negras [ˈneɣɾas] as [neˈɣas]. At this age, the child started producing plurals with no errors as the most frequent among the ones that she did not avoid. Further along, at age 2;11.557 (MLU 7.127), there were again many plurals produced without any errors; though, there was still final consonant deletion, cluster reduction, and determiner-noun disagreement. Finally, at age
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