This book explores the role of phonological templates in early language use from the perspective of usage-based phonology and exemplar models and within the larger developmental framework of Dynamic Systems Theory. After analysing children's first words and their adult targets, Vihman sets out procedures for establishing the children's later prosodic structures and templates, drawing on data from American and British English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Italian, and Welsh; she also provides briefer longitudinal accounts of template use in Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese. The children are found to begin with simple word forms that match their selected adult targets; this is followed by the production of more challenging words, adapted to fit the child's existing patterns. Early accuracy is replaced by later recourse to an 'inner model' - a template - of a favoured word shape. The book also examines the timing, fading, quantification, and function of child phonological templates. In addition, two chapters focus on the use of templates in adult language, in the core grammar and in the more creative morphology of colloquial 'short forms' and hypocoristics in French and Estonian and of English rhyming compounds. The idea of templates is traced back to its origins in Prosodic Morphology, but its uses are most in evidence in the informal settings of adult language 'at play'. Throughout the volume, the discussion returns to the issues of emergent systematicity, the roles of articulatory and memory challenges for children, and the similarities and differences in the function of templates for adults as compared with children.