Hesitation patterns in third grade children's derived word productions


Hesitations have been considered to serve both cognitive and linguistic functions. This study presents analyses of children's hesitations while producing English derived words with the suffix -ity. Two questions were considered: Do children's linguistic skills influence their use and frequency of hesitations when producing derived words, and do children's use of hesitations vary as a function of word frequency. Eight real words derived with the suffix -ity were produced by 20 third grade children and analysed for different hesitation types. Four of the target words were high in lexical frequency, and four were low in lexical frequency. Results indicated varying hesitation patterns based upon stress accuracy skill. Children with good stress accuracy skills tended to produce false starts, whereas children with poor stress accuracy skills tended to produce glottal stops and intra-word pauses. Word frequency had a specific effect only for children with good stress accuracy skills.

Publication Title

Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics