A population study of children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones

Carol Kit Sum To, Pamela S. Cheung, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese. Method: Participants were 1,726 children aged 2;4 to 11;7. Single-word speech samples were collected to examine four measures: initial consonants, final consonants, vowels/diphthongs, and lexical tones. A two-way ANOVA was performed to examine the effects of age and sex on phoneme acquisition. Results: There was rapid acquisition of initial consonants from 2;6 to 4;6. All 19 initial consonants were acquired by 6;0 (90% criterion): /p-, m-, j-/ were the earliest to acquire; the last were /tsh-, s-/. Final consonants had a different acquisition time from their initial counterparts. Vowels were acquired by 5;0 and diphthongs by 4;0. All nine tones were acquired by 2;6. The main effect of age was significant for all four measures while sex was significant for all except for tone. Common phonological patterns (10%) for initial consonants were: stopping, fronting, deaspiration, delabialization, affrication, and nasalization; patterns with 5'9.9% occurrence were backing, deaffrication, gliding, and dentalization. Conclusions: The acquisition of Cantonese shows similarities with English acquisition yet also had specific characteristics. Factors that contributed to the acquisition rate were functional load, articulatory ease, consonant-vowel (CV) interactions, phonetic variations, and the behavior of vowels and their allophones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-122
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

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Hong Kong
Phonetics
phonetics
Population
Analysis of Variance
interaction
Consonant
Hong Kong Cantonese
time

Grant Number

  • FT0990588

Cite this

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title = "A population study of children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones",
abstract = "Purpose: This study investigated children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese. Method: Participants were 1,726 children aged 2;4 to 11;7. Single-word speech samples were collected to examine four measures: initial consonants, final consonants, vowels/diphthongs, and lexical tones. A two-way ANOVA was performed to examine the effects of age and sex on phoneme acquisition. Results: There was rapid acquisition of initial consonants from 2;6 to 4;6. All 19 initial consonants were acquired by 6;0 (90{\%} criterion): /p-, m-, j-/ were the earliest to acquire; the last were /tsh-, s-/. Final consonants had a different acquisition time from their initial counterparts. Vowels were acquired by 5;0 and diphthongs by 4;0. All nine tones were acquired by 2;6. The main effect of age was significant for all four measures while sex was significant for all except for tone. Common phonological patterns (10{\%}) for initial consonants were: stopping, fronting, deaspiration, delabialization, affrication, and nasalization; patterns with 5'9.9{\%} occurrence were backing, deaffrication, gliding, and dentalization. Conclusions: The acquisition of Cantonese shows similarities with English acquisition yet also had specific characteristics. Factors that contributed to the acquisition rate were functional load, articulatory ease, consonant-vowel (CV) interactions, phonetic variations, and the behavior of vowels and their allophones.",
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A population study of children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones. / To, Carol Kit Sum; Cheung, Pamela S.; McLeod, Sharynne.

In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol. 56, No. 1, 02.2013, p. 103-122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A population study of children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese consonants, vowels, and tones

AU - To, Carol Kit Sum

AU - Cheung, Pamela S.

AU - McLeod, Sharynne

N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: month (773h) = February, 2013; Journal title (773t) = Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. ISSNs: 1092-4388;

PY - 2013/2

Y1 - 2013/2

N2 - Purpose: This study investigated children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese. Method: Participants were 1,726 children aged 2;4 to 11;7. Single-word speech samples were collected to examine four measures: initial consonants, final consonants, vowels/diphthongs, and lexical tones. A two-way ANOVA was performed to examine the effects of age and sex on phoneme acquisition. Results: There was rapid acquisition of initial consonants from 2;6 to 4;6. All 19 initial consonants were acquired by 6;0 (90% criterion): /p-, m-, j-/ were the earliest to acquire; the last were /tsh-, s-/. Final consonants had a different acquisition time from their initial counterparts. Vowels were acquired by 5;0 and diphthongs by 4;0. All nine tones were acquired by 2;6. The main effect of age was significant for all four measures while sex was significant for all except for tone. Common phonological patterns (10%) for initial consonants were: stopping, fronting, deaspiration, delabialization, affrication, and nasalization; patterns with 5'9.9% occurrence were backing, deaffrication, gliding, and dentalization. Conclusions: The acquisition of Cantonese shows similarities with English acquisition yet also had specific characteristics. Factors that contributed to the acquisition rate were functional load, articulatory ease, consonant-vowel (CV) interactions, phonetic variations, and the behavior of vowels and their allophones.

AB - Purpose: This study investigated children's acquisition of Hong Kong Cantonese. Method: Participants were 1,726 children aged 2;4 to 11;7. Single-word speech samples were collected to examine four measures: initial consonants, final consonants, vowels/diphthongs, and lexical tones. A two-way ANOVA was performed to examine the effects of age and sex on phoneme acquisition. Results: There was rapid acquisition of initial consonants from 2;6 to 4;6. All 19 initial consonants were acquired by 6;0 (90% criterion): /p-, m-, j-/ were the earliest to acquire; the last were /tsh-, s-/. Final consonants had a different acquisition time from their initial counterparts. Vowels were acquired by 5;0 and diphthongs by 4;0. All nine tones were acquired by 2;6. The main effect of age was significant for all four measures while sex was significant for all except for tone. Common phonological patterns (10%) for initial consonants were: stopping, fronting, deaspiration, delabialization, affrication, and nasalization; patterns with 5'9.9% occurrence were backing, deaffrication, gliding, and dentalization. Conclusions: The acquisition of Cantonese shows similarities with English acquisition yet also had specific characteristics. Factors that contributed to the acquisition rate were functional load, articulatory ease, consonant-vowel (CV) interactions, phonetic variations, and the behavior of vowels and their allophones.

KW - Open access version available

KW - Cantonese

KW - Children

KW - Consonant-vowel interactions

KW - Consonants

KW - Normative study

KW - Phonological patterns

KW - Speech

KW - Speech acquisition

KW - Speech and language

KW - Speech sound development

KW - Tones

KW - Vowels

U2 - 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0080)

DO - 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0080)

M3 - Article

VL - 56

SP - 103

EP - 122

JO - Journal of Speech and Hearing Research

JF - Journal of Speech and Hearing Research

SN - 1092-4388

IS - 1

ER -