Phonological Development in Norwegian-Speaking Children Aged 2;6-2;11
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The knowledge of typical phonological development is of clinical significance for the identification of children with speech sound disorders (SSD). Data available from other languages, even of the same language family, cannot be transferred for clinical purpose. At present there are no studies describing Norwegian-speaking children’s typical phonetic and phonological development. The purpose of the present study was to gain first insight into the phonetic and phonological development in 14 monolingual Norwegian-speaking children aged 2;6-2;11. The study is part of a large-scale cross-sectional study on Norwegian speaking children’s phonological development conducted at Statped South-East. A newly designed picture naming task (Diffkas, Bjerkan & Frank, 2017) was used to investigate the phonetic inventories, use of tonal accent, type/token of phonological processes, and the number of infrequent variants produced. In addition, the children were asked to complete a stimulability task to assess production of all phones in isolation. Results showed that the phonetic vowel inventory was complete in all children assessed, while this was not yet the case for the consonant inventory. No tone errors were found. Fourteen phonological processes were shown by more than 10% of the children, with a mean of 6 types per child. The analysis of infrequent variants indicated a large variance across children. Compared to results from languages of the same language family (Germanic /Northern Germanic), the Norwegian speaking children showed similar types of processes and missing phones. However, language specific processes were also found. In comparison to studies on German and Danish-speaking children, the Norwegian-speaking children in the present study seemed to be slower on most measures in their phonological development.