This paper examines the acquisition of the variable rules constraining Spanish syllable-final/s/-lenition in Chilean Spanish-speaking children, and whether adult-to-adult speech differs from child-directed speech in the production of s-lenition. The data of 10 children (ages 2;04-5;09) and their caregivers is presented. Tokens of syllable final/s/were coded for pronunciation and a variable-rule analysis examining the effect of various linguistic and extralinguistic constraints was carried out. The results show that child and caregiver use of s-lenition is similar to that found in adult-to-adult speech; however, two of the youngest children showed near-categorical behavior. This paper highlights the important role of caregiver input on acquisition of s-lenition and proposes that production of s-lenition in utterance-final position in the input (caregiver's speech) is linked to young children's acquisition of s-lenition; young children exposed to an input with high rates of [s] in utterance-final position acquire s-lenition earlier.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language