Thursday, February 26, 2009

Department Colloquium, March 23

Date: March 23, 2009
Time: 3:30 - 4:30
Place: C2033

Title: Relationships between language typology and the acquisition of word-final consonants in French

Author: Christophe dos Santos


Many generalizations about syllabification across languages point to a strong effect of sonority. For example, the more sonorous a consonant is, the more likely it is to appear at the end of syllables (in syllable codas). Are such generalizations accidental or driven by general principles in phonology? Child language development can help us address this question, because children have to build phonological systems from the ambient languages they are exposed to. If general principles lead phonological systems in general, they should manifest themselves in acquisition. During this presentation, I will show that Marilyn, a first-language learner of French, syllabifies her word-final consonants on the basis of sonority before she attains the type of syllabification we expect in the target (adult) system.

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