Phonological Patterns in Ukwuani Children of Three to Five Years Old

Phonological Patterns in Ukwuani Children of Three to Five Years Old
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: Franca Okumo
Institution: Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State


This article is a study of the phonological patterns in child language development. Using data from Ukwuani children of three to five years old, we identify those patterns that are prevalent in normal child development for the purpose of assessing and identifying children with phonological disorders. Using the Ibadan 400 wordlist, a predetermined wordlist of 400 items, we identified patterns such as: stopping, deaffrication, velar fronting, liquid gliding, nasal assimilation and labial assimilation. We note that children make some deviations in an attempt to produce the adult form of the language and that these deviations may not be cases of disorders but simply simplification processes. However, if they hold on to these patterns beyond a certain age, it results in developmental phonological disorder. The paper thus recommends that child’s phonological patterns be assessed using the phonological milestones or universal patterns that underlie the speech forms of infants at a certain age so as to identify children who after the recommended age still present constraints in trying to produce the adult form. This will help in early intervention in the case of such a disorder.


phonological patterns, labial assimilation, nasal assimilation, substitution, stopping, deaffrication, liquid gliding, velar fronting, acquisition.

Pages: 169-184
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-100-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-244-9 (PDF)