Why prioritise marked consonants?
Some research suggests we should target
MARKED properties in order to facilitate
acquisition of unmarked aspects of the
system.
Markedness is a concept from the study of the
sound systems of all natural languages.
A marked feature in a language implies the
necessary presence of another feature hence “implicational relationship”.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen

In markedness theory, in English, fricatives,
the voiceless stops that occur in /s/ clusters
(the adjuncts), affricates and clusters are
‘marked’.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
1.
2.
3.
4.
FRICATIVES
are marked,
implying stops.
VOICED STOPS
are marked,
implying voiceless
stops.
AFFRICATES
are marked,
implying fricatives.
CLUSTERS
are marked,
implying singletons.
In intervention
1. Target fricatives to ‘get’
fricatives and stops.
2. Target the voiced stops
/b/, /d/, /g/ to ‘get’ voiced and
voiceless stops.
3.
Target affricates to ‘get’
affricates and fricatives.
4.
Target clusters to ‘get’
clusters and singletons.
‘get’ means to ‘facilitate
generalisation to…’
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
We can’t look at a consonant and
“figure out” whether it is marked.
We simply need to
“know” the information.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP)
Can you say these?
[
[
][
]
]
Can you say these?
[
][
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
]
sonority theory

Sonority is the amount of stricture or ‘sound’ in a
consonant or vowel.

Steriade (1990) proposed a numerical hierarchy.
Most sonorant
vowels = 0
glides = 1
liquids = 2
nasals = 3
voiced fricatives = 4
voiceless fricatives = 5
voiced stops = 6
voiceless stops = 7
Least sonorant
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
sonority theory
We “prefer” to articulate words with a
rise and fall in sonority; p
Most
‘sound’
or
starts with the least sonorous
stricture
in
the
middle.
segment, a voiceless stop, /p/
followed by a liquid, / /
with a vowel, / / or / / at the peak,
to the less sonorous nasal, / /
finally falling to the least sonorous
voiceless stop, / /.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
This rise - fall tendency is called the
Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP)
[
] and [
]
[
] and [
]
are more ‘natural’ for us to say than
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
All clusters are marked, but are some
clusters more marked than others?
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
One approach to classifying two-element
clusters in terms of markedness is to rank them
according to their sonority difference scores. e.g.,
/kw/ (7 minus 1) sonority difference score of 6
/fl/ (5 minus 2) sonority difference score of 3
/fl/ 3 is more marked than /kw/ 6
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
Sonority difference scores



2- element clusters with SMALL sonority
differences of 2, 3 or 4, and 3-element
clusters, may better promote generalised
change to singletons and clusters.
Gierut and co-workers provide evidence
and target selection guidelines.
If we work on the more complex, more
marked clusters the “others” may emerge
without being directly targeted.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
Sonority difference scores



2- element clusters with SMALL sonority
differences
of
2,
3
or
4,
and
3-element
And we get singletons without
clusters, may better promote generalised
them
change targeting
to singletons
anddirectly!
clusters.
Gierut and co-workers provide evidence
and target selection guidelines.
If we work on the more complex, more
marked clusters the “others” may emerge
without being directly targeted.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
What’s missing?
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
Adjuncts /st/, /sp/and /sk/


Morrisette, Farris & Gierut postulate that
initial /s/+ stop ‘clusters’ are adjuncts and
not ‘true clusters’, and therefore are not
subject to the implicational relationships
amongst clusters with respect to sonority,
and generalisation.
Meaning, if you target adjuncts you will ‘get’
adjuncts only.
Copyright © 2011 Caroline Bowen
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Sound Reasoning 3 - Speech