Interview with Adele Miccio on Emergent Phonology in Young Children: Bridging Research to Practice Welcome Division 1 affiliates to the second of our early intervention Chat Corners! We are fortunate to have as our guest, Adele Miccio, Assistant Professor at Penn State University. Dr. Miccio, a nationally recognized researcher, scholar, and teacher, offers her perspective on emergent phonology in young children. In ... Chat Corner
Chat Corner  |   May 01, 1999
Interview with Adele Miccio on Emergent Phonology in Young Children: Bridging Research to Practice
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mona Griffer
    Marywood University, Scranton, PA
Article Information
Chat Corner
Chat Corner   |   May 01, 1999
Interview with Adele Miccio on Emergent Phonology in Young Children: Bridging Research to Practice
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, May 1999, Vol. 6, 41-45. doi:10.1044/lle6.1.41
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, May 1999, Vol. 6, 41-45. doi:10.1044/lle6.1.41
Welcome Division 1 affiliates to the second of our early intervention Chat Corners! We are fortunate to have as our guest, Adele Miccio, Assistant Professor at Penn State University. Dr. Miccio, a nationally recognized researcher, scholar, and teacher, offers her perspective on emergent phonology in young children.
In the last decade, treatment research has investigated alternative ways of choosing treatment targets and different strategies to teach new sounds. Studying phonology from linguistic, acoustic and articulatory phonetic perspectives has shown us that sounds are related to each other and these relationships can be exploited to achieve maximum gains in treatment. Treatment of one representative aspect of a pattern facilitates improvements across that pattern. If a child has difficulty with fricatives, for example, not all fricatives need to be taught for the child to acquire the feature [continuant] and apply it across the sound system. There are also implications for linguistic relationships among sound classes that have been tested in treatment. If a language has a marked class, it also contains the unmarked class. Fricatives, for example, are marked relative to stops. If a child has errors in both sound classes, teaching fricatives results in increased ability to learn both sound classes. With regard to feature complexity, Tyler and Figurski (1994)  found that children taught complex phonetic distinctions (Dinnsen, Chin, Elbert & Powell, 1990) acquired sounds from less complex levels. To illustrate, a child whose inventory is limited to nasals, stops, and glides may be taught /l/ and will likely acquire some fricatives or affricates as well. On the other hand, if a fricative is taught, acquisition of a liquid is not predicted. In these examples, treatment targets were not chosen based on developmental norms but rather the complexity of an individual child’s phonology in relation to implicational laws so that the greatest amount of generalization could be predicted from the least amount of treatment (Powell, 1991).
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