Phonological Processes in Lexical Development

Holly L. Storkel

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Phonological Processes in Lexical Development

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  • Children simultaneously acquire the sounds and the words of language. The sound system is referred to as phonology, whereas the collection of known words is called the mental lexicon. The learning of these two elements of language is tightly coupled from the very beginnings of language development. Specifically, the sounds a child can produce influences the words he or she learns. Moreover, phonology and the lexicon continue to influence one another even later in development with phonological characteristics affecting learning and memory.

    In infancy, children practice the sounds in their language through babbling. This sets the stage for spoken language. In terms of lexical development, an infant's speech production skills exert a powerful influence on word learning. In particular, the sounds in an infant's first words ...

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