AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Nonsibilant Fricative Acquisition by Bilingual

by Jennifer Qian Zhang

Institution: The Ohio State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Linguistics; Language; child acquisition; bilingualism; Guoyu; Taiwanese Mandarin; Taiwanese Southern Min; Taiwan; nonsibilant; fricative acquisition
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2102024
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1462642856


Phonological acquisition by children is strongly influenced by language-specific and socio-environmental factors, rather than being determined strictly by linguistic universals or biological constraints. Although early research, primarily on acquisition by monolingual English-speaking children, supported the hypothesis of linguistic universals, evidence from cross-language studies show wide variation in the acquisition order of sounds. Looking specifically at the acquisition of the nonsibilant fricatives /f/, /x/, and /h/, this study examines acquisition patterns by bilingual Guoyu-Taiwanese Southern Min speaking children in Taiwan. Transcription results show that while children are able to articulate both [x] and [h] before the age of 2;5 (2 years and 5 months), /f/ is phonologically acquired first around the age of 5, while /x/ and /h/ are acquired after the age of 6. The late acquisition of /x/ and especially /h/ may result from the wide range of /x/ and /h/ realizations by adults, due to the relative statuses of the two languages and the linguistic history of Taiwan. The current study complements Shih's (2012) study on the acquisition of sibilants to provide a holistic account of fricative acquisition by children in Taiwan. Advisors/Committee Members: Beckman, Mary (Advisor).