University of Oulu

Eija Aalto, Katri Saaristo-Helin & Suvi Stolt (2020) Phonological development of Finnish speaking children at 3;6 and associations to previous and simultaneous lexical ability, Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 34:7, 617-633, DOI: 10.1080/02699206.2019.1681517

Phonological development of Finnish speaking children at 3;6 and associations to previous and simultaneous lexical ability

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Author: Aalto, Eija1; Saaristo-Helin, Katri2; Stolt, Suvi2
Organizations: 1Faculty of Humanities, Research Unit of Logopedics Logopedics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology (Logopedics), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-29


Previous studies of Finnish children’s phonological development focus mainly on children under 2;0. Earlier findings have suggested that phonological and lexical development are strongly associated at an early age. However, less is known about the longitudinal association. This study describes the phonological skills of Finnish-speaking children at 3;6 and compares them with early lexicon size at 2;0 and lexical ability at 3;6 (N = 67). The children’s phonological development was measured using The Finnish Phonology Test. Lexical development was evaluated using the Finnish, long-form version of the Communicative Development Inventory at 2;0 and the Boston naming test at 3;6 At 3;6, all children mastered the vowels and diphthongs fully, and most of the children also mastered the consonants, with the exception of the phonemes/d/and/r/. Phonotactic skills had also been acquired well at this group level, although the word-medial and, especially, word-initial consonant clusters were still challenging. The percentage of phonemes correct was 95. Both paradigmatic and phonotactic skills at 3;6 were significantly associated with lexicon size at 2;0. In addition phonotactic skills correlated with naming ability at 3;6. Lexical development at 2;0 explained 21% of the variance in the phonological development at 3;6, whereas, the explaining value of simultaneous lexical skill was limited (9%). Present findings propose that associations between lexical and phonological skills weaken as phonological skills become more honed.

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Series: Clinical linguistics & phonetics
ISSN: 0269-9206
ISSN-E: 1464-5076
ISSN-L: 0269-9206
Volume: 34
Issue: 7
Pages: 617 - 633
DOI: 10.1080/02699206.2019.1681517
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Copyright information: © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics on 29 Oct 2019, available online: