Productive strategies for the pronunciation of early polysyllabic lexical items

H. B. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this investigation was to identify productive strategies for the pronunciation of early polysyllabic words. Replicas (children's modifications) of adult models were classified as either syllable-maintaining or syllable-reducing based on the types and frequencies of phonological processes applied in attempts to achieve simplification. Four children aged 20-24 months were tape-recorded as they were informally engaged in activities that involved naming toys and pictures represented by polysyllabic words. Different productive strategies were observed with different children. The classification of modification types as syllable-maintaining or syllable-reducing provided a useful framework in which to describe regularities in one child and among children for producing complex phonological sequences. Children varied from one another with respect to (a) the consistency to productions across lexical items (interword production), (b) the consistency in productions (tokens) of a single word (intraword), and (c) the preferences for the application of selected phonological processes. Findings are discussed in terms of conditions which may be related to regularity and variation in early attempts at the pronunciation of polysyllabic lexical items.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-405
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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