Consonant Sequence Reduction in Child Phonology
This article describesconsonant sequence reduction in the speech of four children acquiring Yoruba and English concurrently. It is argued that the two children acquiring English primarily and Yoruba secondarily simply delete the most sonorous members of consonant sequences in a manner consistent with the sonority hierarchy, but the children acquiring Yoruba primarily and English secondarily reduce consonant sequences throughcoalescence. This is apparent in sequences containing sonorants plus voiceless obstruents as inputs, but which consistently have only the voiced counterpart of the input voiceless obstruent in the output.We argue that the voicing of the underlyingly voiceless obstruents in this case is from the input sonorant. It is also reported that where the child’s primary language is Yoruba, mastery of consonant sequences is slower than where it is English. It is argued that this is because these sequences are limited to only homorganic nasal plus a following consonant, whereas clusters are more frequently encountered in English.
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