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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Input frequency and lexical variability in phonological development: a survival analysis of word-initial cluster production
Author: Mitsuhiko Ota
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Author: Sam Jherek Green
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University College London
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Abstract: Although it has been often hypothesized that children learn to produce new sound patterns first in frequently heard words, the available evidence in support of this claim is inconclusive. To re-examine this question, we conducted a survival analysis of word-initial consonant clusters produced by three children in the Providence Corpus (0 ; 11–4 ; 0). The analysis took account of several lexical factors in addition to lexical input frequency, including the age of first production, production frequency, neighborhood density and number of phonemes. The results showed that lexical input frequency was a significant predictor of the age at which the accuracy level of cluster production in each word first reached 80%. The magnitude of the frequency effect differed across cluster types. Our findings indicate that some of the between-word variance found in the development of sound production can indeed be attributed to the frequency of words in the child's ambient language.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 3.

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