Fronting in child phonology

David Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


This paper presents a proposed strategy of phonology based on acquisition data from two children, one French and one English. Both children showed a process of FRONTING, where the sounds in the child’s words are ordered from those produced at the front of the mouth to those produced in the back. While this first appears to be an uncommon strategy, an examination of its implied universals suggests that Fronting at some more basic level may represent a general phonological process. Specifically, Fronting suggests that a marked or unmarked relationship exists between the initial and final consonants of a CVC syllable dependent upon their adherence to Fronting. It is proposed that back consonants are less marked in syllable final position than initial position and vice versa for front consonants. Thus Jakobson’s theory, based on markedness in initial consonants, is just part of a more general phenomenon of markedness in syllables. Data are given that suggest that such is the case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Psychology(all)


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