Sonority in Acquisition: A Review
Jessica A. Barlow [+]
San Diego State University
This chapter will provide an overview of the research that has focused on the role of sonority in phonological acquisition, to include both first and second language acquisition, as well as typical and atypical populations. Particular attention will be paid to the role of sonority in error patterns and in the acquisition of complex syllable structure. Specifically, sonority is implicated in complex syllable simplification patterns, as with coda deletion and cluster reduction. In addition, sonority has also shown to play a role in the specific order of acquisition of complex syllable structures, such that clusters with a large sonority distance are acquired before those with small sonority distance. While sonority can account for many such patterns, there are, not surprisingly, other instances where the sonority account fails. Alternative and complementary accounts for these exceptions that appeal to such concepts as syllable organization, morphology, and frequency effects are discussed.