This module will provide an overview of phonetic and phonological development, with an emphasis on the first two years of life. Through a combination of lectures, reading and practical sessions students will become acquainted with the findings of both observational and experimental studies of infant speech perception, distributional learning, segmentation and production and the transition from babbling to speech. The mechanisms of learning and development in this period will be particularly emphasized. In the last 2 weeks of the module some of the main theoretical approaches to phonological development will be considered through student presentations in small groups in lieu of lectures.
Module learning outcomes
At the end of the module the student should:
have a good understanding of the relationship of babbling to early word learning
have understanding of the place of language learning in overall development in the first two years
have a good understanding of the course of phonological development in the single word period
be able to identify patterning in the early words of children learning any language with which he/she is familiar
have some understanding of the sources of variability between different word forms, individual childrens developmental paths and different language environments
have an understanding of the difference between explicit and implicit learning and the relationship of each to advances in speech perception, vocal production and word learning.
be able to critically evaluate some of the issues involved in the development of phonology
% of module mark
Open Examination (5 day) Phonological Development
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
Open Examination (5 day) Reassessment: Phonological Development
Five formative essays, up to 500 words; assigned in weeks 3, 4, 5, 7, 8; returned within one week with feedback.
Vihman, M. M. (2014) Phonological Development: The first two years. (2nd ed.) Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Additional papers will be assigned each week; copies of papers will be made available on the VLE.