The acquisition of initial consonant clusters in Danish-speaking children

Marit Carolin Clausen, Annette Fox-Boyer

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


    The acquisition of initial consonant clusters is a challenge in children’s speech acquisition and for children with speech disorders that has been described across languages. For Danish two studies reported the age of initial and final cluster acquisition. However, more detailed analyses of acquisition patterns (i.e. substitution and reduction patterns) of different types of Danish initial clusters have not been carried out so far.

    The aim of this study was to explore the acquisition patterns of initial clusters in typically developing Danish-speaking children aged 2;6-4;11 years.

    Data from 443 Danish-speaking children aged 2;6-4;11 years from all regions of Denmark were analysed. The children were part of a normative cross-sectional study and divided into five age groups each with an age band of six months. Data were collected through a picture-naming test that included 23 different initial consonant clusters. All spoken output was transcribed and analysed for correctness as well as substitution and simplification patterns in initial clusters.

    Clusters were produced correctly with increasing age. Cluster realization of those not yet produced correctly was found to be systematically for the different cluster types from very early on. Most obstruent clusters were reduced to the first element, while s-clusters were reduced to their second element. A third group of clusters was more variable as the children reduced the clusters to either the first or the second element. Developmental paths will be presented.

    Findings on the patterns of cluster acquisition in Danish-speaking children revealed that the children are very systematic across different cluster types from an early age. This is in contrast to findings from other languages where great variability has been reported regarding the patterns found across children. The knowledge of typical acquisition of initial clusters in Danish may be supportive for early identification of children with speech disorders.
    StatusUdgivet - 2018
    Begivenhed17th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics
    Association Conference
    - University of Malta, Malta
    Varighed: 23. okt. 201825. okt. 2018


    Konference17th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics
    Association Conference
    LokationUniversity of Malta