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B1 - Dynamics of representations in phonological acquisition

In phonological acquisition, there are stages in which lexeme productions systematically deviate from their target forms. Such deviations that occur between the second and the fourth year of life are referred to as phonological processes and affect different levels of phonological domains. They surface, for instance, as segment substitutions (e.g., alveolarization of /k/ to [t]), consonant cluster reductions in the onset or coda position of syllables, or as syllable truncations at the word level. It is still a matter of debate whether phonological processes are the result of preliminary lexical representations in the child’s lexicon and how they can be overcome: by means of systematic and general updating of phonological representations or by means of lexeme-based revision? A further question is whether different acquisition conditions have an impact on this task.

Dissertation projects in B1 are relevant to students with a high interest in psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, language acquisition and phonology. Linguistic and psycholinguistic questions regarding phonological acquisition will be studied with electrophysiological and behavioral methods.

Potential research topics include the following:

  • Mental representations of lexical forms with segmental and/or prosodic processes in L1 acquisition.
  • Mental representations of lexical forms with segmental and/or prosodic processes in L2 acquisition.
  • Mental representations of lexical forms with segmental and/or prosodic processes in bidialectal acquisition context.