Assessing the Phonological Processes in Akan Child Language
Keywords:Phonological processes, Speech errors, Child language, Slip of tongue, Akan
AbstractThis paper seeks to examine the phonological processes embedded in the speech errors of child phonology in Akan, a Niger-Congo (Kwa) language. The study has become necessary because cross-linguistically, several works have been undertaken on child language acquisition but very little or no attention has been given to that of Akan. Most of these works on African languages have centered on the acquisition processes with little on the phonological processes underpinning child language. Therefore, this study bridges the gap by providing a discussion of some phonological processes that underline the acquisition of Akan children. In the course of the phonological development of the Akan child as part of language acquisition, these processes occur as phonological simplification strategies to resolve relatively challenging natural adult forms of Akan expressions. This is either due to an articulatory accident or a defect in the speech organ. It is against this backdrop that Fromkin (1973) opines that a slip of tongue is evidence of a phonological process in action. Hence, this paper concludes that the inadequacies in child language acquisition trigger various phonological processes such as vocalization, stopping, de-affrication, anteriorization, fronting, cluster reduction, reduplication as a phonological simplification strategy in the acquisition of Akan.
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