Children acquiring a language are faced with at least two lexical tasks: learning new words and organizing these to uniquely distinguish each word from every other. During this process, children are also learning the phonological system, and it is likely that advances in lexical and phonological development influence one another. The long-term goal is to establish how clinical populations of children build a lexicon, how this interfaces with the phonological system, and how treatment programs may efficaciously remediate potential deficits in this area. To achieve this, our immediate goal is to determine how preschool children with age- appropriate language development build a lexicon because it is essential to document the normal process in order for disordered processes to be understood. Toward this end, mentored training and research programs are proposed. The training program focuses on the PI's development of appropriate research skills in longitudinal data analysis, single-subject research design, cognitive modeling, and clinically applied research particularly in terms of specific language impairment and functional phonological disorders. The complementary research program proposes two projects to (1) explore the processes underlying learning of the phonological forms of new words and examine the structure of word representations in preschool children, and (2) investigate the influence of phonological development on word learning and representations. The findings to emerge hold potential for theories of word learning and the relationship between perception and production in language acquisition.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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Sklare, Dan
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University of Kansas Lawrence
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Hogan, Tiffany P; Bowles, Ryan P; Catts, Hugh W et al. (2011) The influence of neighborhood density and word frequency on phoneme awareness in 2nd and 4th grades. J Commun Disord 44:49-58
Hoover, Jill R; Storkel, Holly L; Hogan, Tiffany P (2010) A Cross-Sectional Comparison of the Effects of Phonotactic Probability and Neighborhood Density on Word Learning by Preschool Children. J Mem Lang 63:100-116
Storkel, Holly L (2009) Developmental differences in the effects of phonological, lexical and semantic variables on word learning by infants. J Child Lang 36:291-321
Storkel, Holly L (2006) Do children still pick and choose? The relationship between phonological knowledge and lexical acquisition beyond 50 words. Clin Linguist Phon 20:523-9
Maekawa, Junko; Storkel, Holly L (2006) Individual differences in the influence of phonological characteristics on expressive vocabulary development by young children. J Child Lang 33:439-59
Storkel, Holly L; Armbruster, Jonna; Hogan, Tiffany P (2006) Differentiating phonotactic probability and neighborhood density in adult word learning. J Speech Lang Hear Res 49:1175-92
Storkel, Holly L; Maekawa, Junko (2005) A comparison of homonym and novel word learning: the role of phonotactic probability and word frequency. J Child Lang 32:827-53
Storkel, Holly L (2004) The emerging lexicon of children with phonological delays: phonotactic constraints and probability in acquisition. J Speech Lang Hear Res 47:1194-212
Storkel, Holly L (2004) Methods for minimizing the confounding effects of word length in the analysis of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density. J Speech Lang Hear Res 47:1454-68
Storkel, Holly L (2003) Learning new words II: Phonotactic probability in verb learning. J Speech Lang Hear Res 46:1312-23

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