The acquisition of consonant clusters in Welsh-English bilingual children.
Jones, Danna Leanne
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Information regarding phonological development is essential for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children presenting with a phonological disorder. This information is not always accessible in minority languages such as Welsh. A minority language such as this is usually used alongside another language; in this case, English. Children using both these languages may be described as bilinguals. It was necessary to develop research relating to bilingual Welsh-English children, especially in regard to consonant clusters. The study focused on the development of word-initial clusters in bilingual Welsh-English children and aimed to provide a benchmark which may be used by Speech and Language Therapists during assessment and management of phonological disorders. Forty-two children took part in the study in West Wales. These children were aged between 2;6 and 6;0 and were divided into seven 6-month age groups. The children who took part in the study were either Welsh or English dominant, which was depicted through the use of a language questionnaire. Picture cards were used to elicit target words for each language. Through analysis, the study reported on acquisition ages of clusters, along with the statistical analysis of the main effects of age and language dominance on the acquisition of clusters. Correlational analysis was used to examine the interaction effects between the Welsh and English clusters. Phonological processes were also examined due to their importance during the development and acquisition of clusters.
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