Production of /st/ clusters in trochaic and iambic contexts by typically developing children

Joanne Arciuli, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


English has variable lexical stress - disyllables can exhibit either a trochaic pattern of lexical stress ('ZEbra') or an iambic pattern ('girAFFE'). The majority of English disyllables have trochaic stress and children are sensitive to this statistical property of the language. However, an iambic pattern of stress becomes more apparent in language input with increasing age and, thus, it could be argued that increasing vocabulary knowledge may assist in accommodating both trochaic and iambic patterns in English. A recent study by Sokol by Fey [1] examined singleton consonant production in unstressed syllables in trochaic vs. nontrochaic contexts in 8 typically developing 28-32 month-old children. Their analyses revealed more accurate production in trochaic contexts. The current study differs from Sokol and Fey's study in examining the consonant cluster /st/ with a larger sample of 70 typically developing children from 7-10 years and by including of a vocabulary test. Our results demonstrate: (1) accuracy of production of the /st/ cluster is moderated by lexical stress, (2) these effects are seen in children as old as 10 years of age, and (3) the lack of age effects might be due to the fact that our did not exhibit significant differences in vocabulary knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISSP 2008 Proceedings
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Seminar on Speech Production, ISSP 2008 - Strasbourg, France
Duration: 8 Dec 200812 Dec 2008


Conference8th International Seminar on Speech Production, ISSP 2008


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