The acquisition of medial /t, d/ allophones in bisyllabic contexts

Harriet B. Klein, Elaine K. Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acquisition of medial /t, d/ allophones was examined in four children between 2 and 5 years of age, over a period of 38 months. Children labelled pictures designed to elicit a sample of these allophones in iambic ([t]) and trochaic (flap, nasal and lateral release) contexts. Productions were analysed with reference to attainment of target allophones and use of non-target segmental (e.g., [d] or [t] in place of flap) and syllabic variants (e.g., unstressed syllable deletion). All children produced the target [t] allophone in iambic context. Across children, between 10 and 15 variants occurred in trochaic contexts. Nasal and lateral release allophones were never attained. Flap attainment was variable, with significant differences across children and across phonetic contexts. Results suggest a hierarchy of /t, d/ allophone production with reference to prosodic and phonetic contexts. Discussion includes implications of these findings for clinical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-232
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Children
  • Intervocalic
  • Phonology
  • Preschool
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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