Phonological Development in a Child with Cri du Chat Syndrome (CDCS)


  • Kristian Emil Kristoffersen University of Oslo



Cri du chat-syndrome, Phonology, Language Development, Syllable Structure, Language Disorder


Cri du chat syndrome (CDCS) is a genetic disorder resulting from loss of genetic material from the short arm of chromosome 5. Symptoms include delayed linguistic development. In my paper I present results from a longitudinal study of a girl with CDCS, focussing on two areas of phonological development, firstly, the development of consonant inventories, and, secondly, the development of syllable structure. It is shown that although her consonant inventory hardly develops over a period of 2 1/2 years, the way she uses her consonants to build syllables and words develops considerably. At 4;6 her syllables are dominantly of the CV-type, and bisyllabic words are mostly reduplications. At 5;9 the picture is very different: She uses a variety of syllable shapes, and there are almost no reduplications left. This development continues from 5;9 to 7;0. On the basis of these results I conclude my paper with some remarks on possible causes of the articulatory problems seen in children with CDCS.