451 Models of Phonological Development

  1. Purpose of models of phonological development
    • 1) Account for common developmental patterns
    • 2) Account for individual differences
    • 3) Account for developmental change – Continuity
    • 4) Relate to observable behaviors
    • 5) Provide an index of severity
    • 6) Aid in the development of treatment programs for children w/ phonological &articulation disorders
  2. Models




    Cognitive and Psycholinguistic


  3. Behavioral Model: Proponents and Underlying Premises
    Proponents: Mowrer, Olmstead

    Underlying premises:

    • 1) Psychological Theory of Learning
    • 2) Contingent Reinforcement / Classical Conditioning
  4. Characteristics of Behavioral Model
    Babbling is shaped via classical conditioning principles

    Infant associates vocalizations of caretaker w/ ‘primary reinforcement’ of food and comfort

    Caretaker vocalizations become a secondary reinforcement

    Child’s vocalizations are also secondary reinforcement as they are similar to caretaker’s productions

    Infant vocalizes- caretaker reinforces it- thus babbling is self-reinforcing

    Speech sound repertoire is further refined as:

    • 1) Caretaker reinforces selective sounds that resemble those used in adult language
    • 2) Child is self-reinforced for producing sounds that match adult productions

    Emphasizes ‘Continuity’ between babbling and early speech
  5. Problems with Behavioral Model
    1) Does not account for novel productions or new patterns

    2) Little evidence to show that caretakers selectively ‘reward’ a child’s sound production in the pre-linguistic period
  6. Structuralist Or Distinctive Feature Model: Proponent and Premises
    Proponent: Jakobson


    • 1) Structuralist Theory of Language
    • 2) Universal & innate order of acquisition
    • Hypothesized a ‘Discontinuity’ between babbling & speech, stating ‘babbling’ was completely random & unrelated to speech production
    • Basic units are distinctive features
  7. Structuralist Distinctive Feature Model Characteristics
    Distinctive features of sounds ‘unfold’ in a predictable order

    Occur as child produces phonemic contrasts

    • Child starts with maximally contrasting sounds:
    • /p/ and /a/ (closed vs open), THEN
    • /m/ and /p/ (oral vs nasal labials), THEN
    • /n/ and /d/ (oral vs nasal alveolars)

    Features needed to differentiate stops , nasals, bilabials, & alveolars occur earlier than those needed to differentiate fricatives, affricates, and liquids.
  8. Structuralist/ Distinctive Feature Model Problems
    1) Existence of regularities in paralinguistic vocalizations, i.e. babbling, have been clearly documented

    2) Correlations between babbling and adult-based 1st word shapes is clearly documented

    3) No evidence that children ‘contrast’ sounds (phonemic opposition) at prelinguistic stage

    4) Children are thought to target ‘whole word shapes’ rather than phonemes or segments

    5) Fails to account for great variability observed in children’s early speech productions
  9. Generative Phonology Characteristics
    Smith’s findings:

    • 1) Found no evidence that a child had his own system
    • 2) The postulated ‘child’s system’ seemed to have no bearing on child’s response to unfamiliar adult forms, on phonological treatment of new forms, or recognition of older forms under the influence of new patterns. 3) Thus, Smith postulated there are ‘universal tendencies’ that are innate or learned early


    • A ‘natural’ phonological process is innate, acquired early, & easily used by the child.
    • A ‘natural’ sound class or phonological property or rule is one that appears to be preferred by the child & is frequently used in their phonological system
    • If the ‘natural’ process opposes a phonological property, some resistance may be expected.
  10. Natural Phonological Model Proponents and Premises
    Proponents: Stampe,Donegan & Stampe,Smith


    • 1) emphasizes universal & maturational aspects of phonological acquisition
    • 2) Child is innately equipped with a universal set of phonological processes for production simplification
    • 3) Child uses phonological operations or processes which change, delete, or simplify phonological units & simplify adult target
    • 4) Child has innate ability to simplify phonemes they can’t produce
    • 5) As child perceives phonemes & learns to produce them, they suppress the phonological process that was acting upon them
    • 6) Child suppresses processes which do not occur in their native language EX: English vs German

    Phonological processes reflect the natural limitations and capacities of human vocal production & perception

    Stampe – 3 mechanisms that account for ongoing changes in child’s phonological system

    • 1) limitation
    • 2) ordering
    • 3) suppression
  11. Problems with Phonology Model
    1) Concept of ’universal phonological rules’ is controversial

    2) Postulates accurate perception of speech production from earliest stages, .i.e. ability to perceive and store speech forms correctly - also controversial

    3) Doesn’t account for individual variation/difference

    4) Doesn’t account for difference in order of acquisition

    5) Doesn’t address babbling

    6) Doesn’t account for early correct productions which are then temporarily lost and later regained.
Card Set
451 Models of Phonological Development
Models of phonological Development