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Connected speech processes in phonological development: "Word glue and other sticky situations".

Newton, Caroline Mary; (1999) Connected speech processes in phonological development: "Word glue and other sticky situations". Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Most research and phonological assessment of child speech has focussed on single-word production. However, children with phonological difficulties may have difficulty glueing words together in connected speech. It is therefore important to consider connected speech and to know about normal development of between-word phonological processes. The thesis consists of three linked studies, investigating assimilation, consonant cluster reduction (elision), liaison and production of articles preceding vowel-initial nouns. The first, a normative study, involved 94 children aged between three and seven. Their spontaneous speech was recorded, and they carried out specially-prepared tasks: sentence repetition and story re-telling, containing process environments. Results show no developmental trend for assimilation, elision or liaison. However, use of the appropriate form of the articles increases with age. Though both apply across word boundaries, children treat the articles and the other processes as different phenomena. Second, a longitudinal case study investigated the speech of a normally-developing child aged between 2;4 and 3;4. Spontaneous speech samples were recorded fortnightly. Results indicate that adult-like production of the processes occurs from the onset of two-word utterances. These utterances present new challenges to children: gestural articulations and relationships mastered for single-word production must also be perfected across word boundaries. Third, three case studies concerning twelve-year-old children with specific speech and language impairment were carried out. Speech elicited in a repetition task was analysed with Electropalatography (a computer-based technique recording lingual-palatal contact patterns) and acoustic analysis. Their speech difficulties had some effect on process production. However, each child was able sometimes to produce adult-like versions of the processes. Similarly to those beginning to produce two-word utterances, children with speech difficulties must learn to apply their articulatory skills in contexts longer than single words. The results of these studies are considered within the framework of Articulatory Phonology, and raise interesting questions concerning how speech and language therapy might refocus to address connected speech.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Connected speech processes in phonological development: "Word glue and other sticky situations".
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103938
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