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Towards a model of phonological acquisition in government phonology

Tolson, Lucy (1998) Towards a model of phonological acquisition in government phonology. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Child phonology shows some interesting and systematic differences from adult phonology. In child phonology, for example, vowel harmony and consonant harmony are common phonological effects (Ingram 1986). In adult phonology, however, vowel harmony is restricted as a language-specific effect and consonant harmony is widely unattested in languages (Vihman 1978, Stemberger and Stoel-Gammon 1991).In order to understand the cause of these differences between adult and child phonology, two essential questions must be raised by investigators (Kaye 1997). 1. What is phonology? 2. What needs to be learnt in order to reach a language-specific adult phonology? Models such as Government Phonology (Kaye, Lowenstamm and Vergnaud 1985 et seq.) are attempts at representing phonology. Government Phonology in particular has not, however, been widely used to yield any such representation of the development of phonology in children. This thesis thus approaches a tentative model of phonological acquisition based in the Government Phonology framework. In Part one, the model of Government Phonology is set out. In Part two, the principles and parameters that govern this model of phonology are manipulated in order to hypothesize the mechanisms available at four stages of acquisition: G(_1); the initial state, G(_2); A stage at which vowel harmony is evident in English and French children, G(_3); A stage at which consonant harmony is evident in English children, and G(_n); the adult English state. In Part three, the implications and problems of this tentative acquisition model and the Government Phonology model are assessed. Government Phonology is argued to provide a promising new line of research into phonological acquisition although much further research must be undertaken.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1998
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:41

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