/s/ clusters in child speech: New evidence from Greek

Marina Tzakosta


In this paper we challenge the ideas promoted by various cross-linguistic theoretical as well as experimental studies regarding the role of /s/ in consonant cluster formation. Most studies opt for markedness and extrametricality accounts which label the marked nature of /s/; this marked nature results in /s/ being deleted in child speech. However, the developmental data discussed here demonstrate different developmental paths in which /s/ appears massively in child Greek in all cluster types and all word positions. Such data cannot be accounted for in terms of markedness or extrametricality. Rather, they are analyzed by means of the Three Scales Model (TSM) which assesses cluster formation in terms of three distinct scales. Under the TSM clusters are determined by gradual perfection/ acceptability.


/s/ clusters, cluster formation, cluster perfection, cluster acceptability, Three Scales Model

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