On Speech Perception and the Lexicon: Studies of Speech Sound Development and Disorder
Benjamin Munson, University of Minnesota
Contemporary models of phonology emphasize that phonological knowledge occurs in multiple sensory domains, and at multiple levels of abstraction away from raw sensory experiences. They also emphasize a strong role for the mental lexicon in the development of higher-order phonological generalizations. Studies of phonology in typically developing children and in children with speech sound disorder must therefore consider performance on tasks of speech perception, speech production, and the higher-order phonological generalizations that emerge from the lexicon. This talk presents a sample of studies from a broader program of research on speech sound development and disorders. The first set of studies show that cross-language differences in adults\' perception of children\'s speech help explain a cross-linguistic difference in the acquisition of /s/ and /S/. The second set of studies examines differences between children with and without speech sound disorder on tasks of speech perception and higher-order phonological generalizations. These studies show that children with speech sound disorder differ from their peers most consistently on measures of speech perception, and in particular on measures of the ability to learn phonological representations from brief exposures to new words. The implications for models of phonological knowledge will be discussed.