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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses current theoretical trends and related debates about phonology and phonological development by young children. Competing theories give rise to empirically testable hypotheses, calling for increasingly fine empirical evaluations of large-scale data sets as well as for crosslinguistic verifications. Corpora documenting phonological development offer windows into fundamental aspects of the learner’s developing abilities. Corpus-based studies, however, raise two interrelated issues: accessing the required data, and analysing these data in a systematic and timely fashion. This double challenge can be addressed through the parallel development of a publicly available, crosslinguistic database of child language data formatted for the needs of research in phonology, and of software-assisted methods for the systematic study of these data. This chapter illustrates this discussion through an overview of the PhonBank project within CHILDES, which seeks to implement this vision, for the benefit of the entire research community.

Keywords: first language acquisition, PhonBank, CHILDES

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