Early Phonological Predictors of Toddler Language Outcomes
Bernstein Ratner, Nan
Several studies have explored relationships between children's early phonological development and later language performance. This literature has included a more recent focus on the potential for early vocalization profiles in infancy to predict later language outcomes, including those characterized by delay or disorder. The present study examines phonetic inventories and syllable structure patterns in a large cohort of infants as they relate to expressive language outcomes at 2 years of age. Results suggest that as early as 11 months, phonetic inventory and mean syllable structure level are related to two year expressive language outcomes (MLU, MCDI, and types). If specific patterns of production can be established for a typically-developing population then this will additionally inform clinical decision-making. Possible applications are discussed.