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date: 28 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Children’s early word productions are highly variable in form. However, much of this variability is systematic for a given speaker, exhibiting an interaction between segments on the one hand, and syllable and word shapes on the other. Over time, all three increase in complexity, becoming more adult-like, with interactions between them along the way. Some early word realizations take a disyllabic shape commonly found across languages. However, there are also language-specific patterns of word production that begin to be found as early as the babbling stage of development. This process can be nicely captured in terms of the Prosodic Hierarchy, where the child’s phonological grammar gradually unfolds, becoming more complex over time. This view of phonological development provides a framework for better understanding both the nature of within-speaker variability, as well as the course of phonological (and morphological) development cross-linguistically.

Keywords: prosodic words, prosodic licensing, phonological development, prosody, phonology

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