Early Phonological Predictors of Toddler Language Outcomes

Kayla Gerhold, Catherine Torrington Eaton, Rochelle S. Newman, Nan Bernstein Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: 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 phonological profiles to predict later language outcomes. Methods: The present study longitudinally examined the nature of phonetic inventories and syllable structure patterns of 48 typically developing children at 7, 11, and 18 months, and related them to expressive language outcomes at 2 years of age. Results: Findings provide evidence that as early as 11 months, phonetic inventory and mean syllable structure level are related to 24-month expressive language outcomes, including mean length of utterance and vocabulary diversity in spontaneous language samples, and parent-reported vocabulary scores. Consonant inventories in particular differed at 11 and 18 months for 2-year-olds with lower versus higher language skills. Conclusion: Limited inventories and syllable repertoires may add to risk profiles for later language delays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-453
Number of pages12
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Phonological predictors
  • Syllable structure patterns
  • Toddler language outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • LPN and LVN
  • Linguistics and Language


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