Longitudinal Study of the Acquisition of Taiwanese Initial Stops

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Ohio State University. Department of Linguistics

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This study focuses on the Taiwanese stop system and is intended to provide information regarding the three-way voicing contrast of Taiwanese stops, as they are acquired by children. There are three voiceless unaspirated stops in Taiwanese, /p, t, k/, three voiceless aspirated stops /ph, th, kh/ and two voiced stops /b, g/. A longitudinal study of two Taiwanese-acquiring girls between the ages of 28 and 29 months to 33 and 40 months respectively, indicated that Taiwanese voiceless unaspirated stops were acquired first, voiceless aspirated stops secondly, and finally voiced stops. Even though the two girls acquired the three-way voicing contrast by the age of three years, their productions were not adult-like, especially for the voiced stops. There were many voiced stops produced with short lag VOTs as was found in the voiceless unaspirated stops.




Working Papers in Linguistics, no. 45 (1995), 131-159.