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Feature development in Cantonese

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephanie Stokes


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The phonetic inventories of 122 typically developing Cantonese-speaking children, aged from 0;10 to 4;7, were examined in terms of feature distinctions. The applicability of Dirmsen, Chin, Elbert and Powell's implicational feature hierarchy to these data was investigated. Results show that modifications to the hierarchy are necessary for the Cantonese phonetic system. A revised hierarchy for Cantonese is proposed. Differences between this proposal and the original work are discussed. The implicational nature of the proposed hierarchy was also tested on longitudinal data from ten children (aged from 0;10 to 3;5 at the beginning of the study) over a I year period. The proposed hierarchy successfully predicted the route of sound change of these inventories. Implications for further research on feature development are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stokes SF; To CKS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics

Year: 2002

Volume: 16

Issue: 6

Pages: 443-459

ISSN (print): 0269-9206

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5076

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/02699200210148385


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