Draft written by Shannon, posted by her mom, Gretchen.

It’s time for another in our continuing series of “Posts Only a Linguist Could Love.” Well, SLPs too, but that wasn’t as mellifluous.

Here is a brief outline of Emmie’s phonological development, as I have perceived it.

Most of the first year: Mostly vowels. Child had me worried with her lack of consonants.

12-16 months: CV and CVCV syllable shapes only. Would not even attempt imitation of anything with a final consonant. If she did attempt imitation of VC words, would be changed to CV (up–>buh). Initial consonants almost totally limited to bilabials (mama, book, bread). Nearly everything is collapsed into CV with bilabials (/b/ preferred), so pretty much everything sounds the same. The only things with two syllables are mama and dada. Most vowels centralized to schwa, although vowel distinctions became clearer for some words around 16 months.

17-18 months: CV and CVCV syllable shapes still dominate, but some VC words have crept in (“up” being the clearest and most consistent). You will now attempt imitation of almost any word we ask you to say. If multisyllabic, shape will be CVCV. If I can say you have any phonological processes, I would say you have final consonant deletion and fronting. “Go” is almost always /do/. Most consonants are voiced, but I can get you to imitate /p, t/ in words if I emphasize them. Much wider variety of vowels and most are fairly accurate.

Your consonant inventory these days: /b, m, n, d, p, t/ and you approximate /s, sh, f/. You used to consistently use a bilabial trill in “wab-wab-wab” (wash wash wash), but now it’s fading a bit, which makes me a little sad.

Your vowel inventory: /o, a, i, u, uh/ hmm… and now I really wish I had IPA on this blog! Anyway, you have most vowels.