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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Phonotactics and syllable structure form an integral part of phonological competence and may be used to discover other aspects of language. Given the importance of such knowledge to the process of language acquisition, numerous studies have investigated the development of phonotactic and syllabic knowledge in order to determine when infants become sensitive to these sound patterns and how they may use this knowledge in language processing. Considering that infants’ first exposure to linguistic structures comes from speech perception, we provide an overview of the perception-related issues that have been investigated experimentally and point out issues that have not yet been addressed in the literature. We begin with phonotactic development, examining a wide range of sound patterns, followed by a discussion of the acquisition of syllable structure and a brief summary of various outstanding issues that may be of interest to the reader, including production-related investigations and phonological modeling studies.

Keywords: phonotactics, probabilistic phonotactics, acquisition of novel patterns, word segmentation, lexical acquisition, prosodic domains, syllable structure

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