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A study of phonological development in a primary school population of East London

Beaken, M.A.; (1971) A study of phonological development in a primary school population of East London. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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A review of work on children's language shows that the development of language in young children is best viewed in terms of an increasing differentiation of functions, until the basic linguistic competence is established at a relatively early age - usually within the child's fourth year. After this age development proceeds in the mastery of the finer stylistic features which are contained in a child's group-language. A study of the speech of 9-year old children shows a high degree of uniformity in phonological detail. 9-year old speech is taken as the terminal model for the developing speech of younger children in this investigation. Within the 9-year old group there are found to be phonological features which differentiate the speech of boys and of girls. The speech of younger children is found to differ in certain characteristic ways from the mature model. Traces of earlier modes of speech are relatively persistent among children up to 4½ years of age. Development between 5 and 8 years consists in the acquisition of features of the local dialect, features of connected speech and, in the later stages, features of speech of the child's sex-group. The early-acquired competence is filtered through an increasing number of phonological transformations to produce, finally, a mature performance. The mature phonemic system is acquired at an early stage, although articulation nay not be completely mature until after 7 years. A test of speech-sound discrimination produces results in favour of older children. This may be due in part to maturation of linguistic ability, and in part to the fact that older children are more sensitive to each other's speech than younger ones.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A study of phonological development in a primary school population of East London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1317623
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