AG 3: Die Phonologie-Morphologie-Schnittstelle in Spracherwerb und Sprachstörungen
Raum IG 251 (Erdgeschoss)
Mittwoch, 07.03.2012, 15.00 bis 16.00 Uhr
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Eva Wimmer1,2, Johannes Hennies2,3, Monika Rothweiler2, Markus Hess3 & Martina Penke1
1Universität zu Köln, 2Universität Bremen & 3Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The interaction of speech sounds, syllable structure and the production of agreement morphemes in German hearing impaired children
Children with a sensorineural hearing impairment (HI) often have difficulties perceiving inflectional affixes, because these are typically realized by highpitched coronal consonants (e.g. -s or -t for finiteness inflections in German). Our study investigates the interaction between difficulties in perceiving particular phonemes, the acquisition of verbal inflectional affixes realized by these phonemes and the impact of syllable structure in German children with a moderate HI.
In a production experiment 19 3-4-year-old HI children and 19 age-matched hearing peers were asked to describe the action depicted in 30 short video scenes to elicit utterances in 2nd and 3rd person singular and 3rd person plural contexts targeting the production of the verbal suffixes –s(t), –t and –n. The data indicate that HI children, but not TD children, show the tendency to avoid, omit or substitute verb forms inflected with –s(t) and –t whereas the suffix –n is reliably produced. We want to suggest that in HI children, the likeliness to avoid the production of an inflectional ending, particularly in syllable-final position, is not due to a morphosyntactic failure. Rather, it is closely tied to the acoustic properties of the phonemes expressing the inflectional affixes and to the syllable structure the critical speech sounds are to occupy: suffixes realized by the voiceless consonants /s/ and /t/ are not only more difficult to perceive for HI children than a nasal, they also add to the phonological complexity of the verb’s syllable structure in contrast to –n inflected forms with a reduced final syllable.