A review of phonological development of mandarin-speaking children

Xin Xin Li*, Carol K.S. To

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Research into the phonological development of Chinese children is in its infancy compared with the relatively extensive data available on the English-speaking population. This article provided a comprehensive review of empirical studies on the acquisition of Mandarin phonology. Method: Studies over the past 45 years that describe phonological development in Mandarin-speaking children were located through electronic databases, citation searches, keyword searches through online search engines, and manual searches of libraries. The research design of the studies was reviewed, and findings of acceptable studies were summarized. Results: After reviewing the abstracts of 798 studies, a total of 12 that met the inclusion criteria were retained. These studies are discussed with reference to the demographic background of participants, geographic regions, aspects of speech sounds measured, data collection tools, transcription systems used, reliability, and the main findings. Conclusions: The general developmental patterns reported were consistent. The methodological design varied substantially. These discrepancies, however, provide insights for further systematic investigations into phonological development in Mandarin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1278
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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