The acquisition of syllable types

Levelt, C. C., Schiller, N. O., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2000). The acquisition of syllable types. Language Acquisition, 8(3), 237-263. doi:10.1207/S15327817LA0803_2.
In this article, we present an account of developmental data regarding the acquisition of syllable types. The data come from a longitudinal corpus of phonetically transcribed speech of 12 children acquiring Dutch as their first language. A developmental order of acquisition of syllable types was deduced by aligning the syllabified data on a Guttman scale. This order could be analyzed as following from an initial ranking and subsequent rerankings in the grammar of the structural constraints ONSET, NO-CODA, *COMPLEX-O, and *COMPLEX-C; some local conjunctions of these constraints; and a faithfulness constraint FAITH. The syllable type frequencies in the speech surrounding the language learner are also considered. An interesting correlation is found between the frequencies and the order of development of the different syllable types.
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