What is it about?

This study is a review of acquisition of consonant sounds in different languages. The review included 60 articles describing 64 studies of consonant acquisition. These studies described 26,007 children from 31 countries in 27 languages: Afrikaans, Arabic, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Jamaican Creole, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Maltese, Mandarin (Putonghua), Portuguese, Setswana (Tswana), Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, and Xhosa. Children across the world acquire consonants at a young age. Five-year-old children have acquired most consonants within their ambient language; however, individual variability should be considered.

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Why is it important?

This study provides information on the average age at which different consonant sound are learnt across different languages. It will inform speech-language pathologists' expectations of children's development, especially when the speech-language pathologist doesn't have any information on typical development in the language that the child speaks.

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This page is a summary of: Children's Consonant Acquisition in 27 Languages: A Cross-Linguistic Review, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2018, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2018_ajslp-17-0100.
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