This outstanding 2004 volume presents an overview of linguistic research into the acquisition of phology. Bringing together well-kwn researchers in the field, it focuses on constraints in phological acquisition (as opposed to rules), and offers concrete examples of the formalization of phological development in terms of constraint ranking. The first two chapters situate the research in its broader context, with an introduction by the editors providing a brief general tutorial on Optimality Theory. Chapter two serves to highlight the history of constraints in studies of phological development, which predates their current ascent to prominence in phological theory. The remaining chapters address a number of partially overlapping themes: the study of child production data in terms of constraints, learnability issues, perceptual development and its relation to the development of production, and second-language acquisition.
Rene Kager is Associate Professor of Language Development at Utrecht University. His books include A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in Dutch (1989), The Prosody-Morphology Interface (with H. van der Hulst and W. Zonneveld, Cambridge 1999) and Optimality Theory (Cambridge, 1999). Joe Pater is Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has published in a number of journals including Phonology, Language Acquisition and the Journal of Child Language. Wim Zonneveld is Professor of Linguistics and Phonology at Utrecht University. He is the author of A Formal Theory of Exceptions in Generative Phonology (1978), Klemtoon & Metrische Fonologie (with M. Trommelen, Couthinho, 1989) and Prosody-Morphology Interface (with R. Kager and H. van der Hulst, Cambridge 1999).