Studies in the manner children acquire the sound systems of their language have been pursued for over a hundred years. However, very limited research has been documented on the phonological acquisition of clicks, particularly those in Xhosa. As a result, researchers only have a very general picture of how these sounds are acquired. Furthermore, very little is known about how the acquisition of clicks by mother tongue speakers compares to the acquisition of clicks by non-mother-tongue speakers, nor is much known about the loss of clicks by aphasics. In order to bring about a better understanding of the phonological acquisition of clicks, this investigation set out to focus on an empirical investigation into aspects concerning the nature of the acquisition of these sounds by 41 Xhosa speaking children aged between 1;6 and 5;5. The study was furthermore extended to compare these results with data on the acquisition of clicks by 18 non-Xhosa-speaking children acquiring Xhosa in primary school, as well as data on the loss of clicks by 3 Xhosa speaking aphasics. An exposition of the methods employed to acquire data on the three target groups’ acquisition and loss of clicks is given. The results are discussed, including a discussion of the major phonological processes involved in the acquisition and loss of clicks. The phonological processes in terms of a contemporary non-linear phonological theory are analysed and explained.
|Subject 2||Xhosa language|
|Degree Type||Masters degree|