Phonological whole-word measures in 3-year-old bilingual children and their age-matched monolingual peers

Ferenc Bunta, Leah Fabiano-Smith, Brian Goldstein, David Ingram

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Scopus citations


    The present study investigated phonological whole-word measures and consonant accuracy in bilingual and monolingual children to investigate how target approximations drive phonological acquisition. The study included eight bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking 3-year-olds and their monolingual peers (eight Spanish and eight American English). Phonological whole-word measures (pMLU and Proximity) and consonant accuracy (PCC) were calculated on elicited single words. Differences were found on each measure between bilinguals and monolinguals in English, but in Spanish, only the PCC displayed differences between bilinguals and monolinguals. Bilinguals displayed language separation on the pMLU and the PCC but not the Proximity, indicating structural phonological differences between the Spanish and English of bilinguals but commensurate target approximations. This suggests that maintaining a consistent level of phonological proximity to the target is an important factor in phonological acquisition. The measures and their relationships are also discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)156-175
    Number of pages20
    JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 19 2009


    • Bilingual Spanish-English
    • PCC
    • Phonological whole-word measures

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing


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