Monday 5 September, 4.00-5 pm: Josefine Karlsson

Phonological representation and self-monitoring in toddlers

Our aim was to investigate whether the often claimed discrepancy between the detailed storage of a word and its reduced production can be demonstrated in a production experiment. Additionally, we wanted to investigate whether toddlers can be induced to make self-repairs on a phonological level. We targeted the children’s phonological knowledge and self-monitoring by using stimuli with onset consonant clusters, which are typically difficult for young children.

Firstly, we recorded word pairs from Dutch 24-month-olds and 30-month-olds and conducted an error analysis of the onset clusters by comparing the distribution of correct and incorrect segments between the first (P1) and the second production (P2). We found a significant difference between P1 and P2 in target clusters starting with an /s/ in children aged 24 months. These results provide evidence that the error sometimes lies in the production process and that children can use self-monitoring on a phonological level.

Secondly, we presented the recorded child speech to Dutch adults. Their task was to decide which production in each word pair was more adult-like. The results showed that there was no overall preference for either P1 or P2. However, the adults noticed a difference between P1 and P2 in target clusters starting with an /s/. Hence, the results from the first and the second experiments corroborate.