[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phonological development was assessed in six alphabetic orthographies (English, French, Greek, Icelandic, Portuguese and Spanish) at the beginning and end of the first year of reading instruction. The aim was to explore contrasting theoretical views regarding: the question of the availability of phonology at the outset of learning to read (Study 1); the influence of orthographic depth on the pace of phonological development during the transition to literacy (Study 2); and the impact of literacy instruction (Study 3). Results from 242 children did not reveal a consistent sequence of development as performance varied according to task demands and language. Phonics instruction appeared more influential than orthographic depth in the emergence of an early meta-phonological capacity to manipulate phonemes, and preliminary indications were that cross-linguistic variation was associated with speech rhythm more than factors such as syllable complexity. The implications of the outcome for current models of phonological development are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In several studies the duration of segments (i.e. consonants and vowels) is measured to classify languages according to their speech rhythm. This research investigates whether Principal Component Analysis (PCA), a new method of analyzing segment-timing parameters for language classification, can be used to classify twelve Southeast Asian languages according to their timing patterns. The twelve Southeast Asian languages examined are Malay, Spontaneous speech from three speakers from each language was recorded. Vocalic, consonantal, voiced, and unvoiced intervals of 30 seconds of speech, not including pauses and hesitations, from each speaker were measured and analyzed using the three language typological classification models of Ramus et al. (1999), Grabe and Low (2002), and Dellwo et al. (2007). Eight parameters calculated from the duration of all intervals were then examined. In addition, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to explore the relations among the parameters. The results from the PCA show that the twelve languages can be classified into four groups:. Standard Thai, Sgaw Karen, and Mien are not explicitly clustered with the other languages. The phonetic and phonological characteristics which seem to influence the twelve-language classification are the number of syllables in a word, the existence or non-existence of tone, and phonation type.
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