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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Phonological Acquisition

Child Language and Constraint-Based Grammar

ISBN 9780230293762
Publication Date October 2015
Formats Hardcover Ebook Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

How do children learn to produce speech? What kinds of errors do they make along the way? What can those errors teach us about phonological theory?

In this comprehensive introduction, Anne-Michelle Tessier examines how we acquire the sounds and sound patterns of language. Analyzing child speech patterns and their analogues among adult languages while also teaching the basics of Optimality Theory, this novel textbook will help students develop a broad grammatical understanding of phonological acquisition.

Phonological Acquisition provides
• evidence to support theory from multiple language families, populations and data collection methods
• connections to lexical, morphological and perceptual learning
• a wealth of exercises to guide readers through Optimality Theory reasoning and implementation

Assuming only a basic knowledge of phonology, this textbook is aimed at students of linguistics, developmental psychology, speech pathology and communication disorders. It will also be of interest to professional psychologists, acquisition researchers, clinicians, and anyone concerned with child speech development.

Anne-Michelle Tessier is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Alberta, Canada. She is a formally-trained phonologist specializing in phonological acquisition and its consequences for grammatical theory. She has taught at the University of Michigan, USA, and the 2013 LSA Summer Institute. Her work has appeared in Phonology, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Language Acquisition, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Lingua and Language, and she serves as an Associate Editor at Lingua.

1. Background I: A Phonological Refresher
2. Background II: Infant speech acquisition
3. Early Phonology: The shapes of syllables
4. Early Phonology: Word sizes and shapes
5. Early Phonology: Consonants
6. Early Phonology: More consonants and phonotactics
7. Lexical Influences and Interactions in Phonological Learning
8. Acquiring Morpho-phonology
9. Children's Bilingual Phonological Acquisition
10. Some OT Theories of Phonological Learning


Tessier has masterfully mined the now-rich vein of OT-theoretic research to make a major contribution to explanation in children's acquisition of phonology. Her highly accessible and comprehensive volume deserves a place on the book shelves of students and seasoned phonologists alike.' Martha Young-Scholten, Newcastle University, UK
'Fantastic either as a stand-alone text for a theory-driven course on phonological acquisition, or as a supplement on both OT and acquisition in a general phonology course. The style is wonderfully engaging, instructive without ever being condescending, casual while still serious.' Joe Pater, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA
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