The coronal fricative problem

Daniel A. Dinnsen, Michael C. Dow, Judith A. Gierut, Michele L. Morrisette, Christopher R. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper examines a range of predicted versus attested error patterns involving coronal fricatives (e.g. [s, z, θ, {eth}]) as targets and repairs in the early sound systems of monolingual English-acquiring children. Typological results are reported from a cross-sectional study of 234 children with phonological delays (ages 3 years; 0 months to 7; 9). Our analyses revealed different instantiations of a putative developmental conspiracy within and across children. Supplemental longitudinal evidence is also presented that replicates the cross-sectional results, offering further insight into the life-cycle of the conspiracy. Several of the observed typological anomalies are argued to follow from a modified version of Optimality Theory with Candidate Chains (McCarthy, 2007).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-178
Number of pages28
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chain shift
  • Conspiracy
  • Error patterns
  • Opacity
  • Optimality Theory
  • Transparency
  • Typology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'The coronal fricative problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this