There are issues concerning the bilingual development of a marked consonant in the literature that need to be clarified. While it is known that input frequency has a facilitative effect on monolingual development, its effects on bilingual development are not clear. Here, a child’s dense, longitudinal speech data from age 2;7 to 3;11 are examined in order to study the bilingual development of a marked consonant, theta, in English and Greek. The results address several issues pertaining to monolingual and bilingual development. Theta development in the two languages is parallel: theta word-frequency reflects adult speech; theta vocabulary grows logarithmically; first accurate realizations occur in frequent words independently of their complexity; in contrast, complete acquisition first occurs in words of lower complexity independently of usage frequency; the acquisition level for all words remains at a low plateau level until ages 3;5 and 3;8, followed by a stage of acceleration of the logistic type until complete acquisition, at ages 3;10 and 3;11 for English and Greek, respectively. Because of the presence of two languages, there is a larger and more complex vocabulary across the two languages which facilitates earlier acquisition in the child than in respective monolingual norms.
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