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Book: Phonology in Protolanguage and Interlanguage

Chapter: 1. Are Speech Sound Disorders Phonological or Articulatory? A Spectrum Approach

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.34027


Chapter 1 introduces the spectrum approach to speech sound disorders. It is argued that speech sound disorders should not be viewed as either the result of an articulatory problem or a phonological problem, but a combination of both. Specifically, it is proposed that speech sound disorders are considered within a model that incorporates the interaction of articulation and phonology as a spectrum upon which both reside. The speech of children within the spectrum may clearly show a tendency for phonological and/or articulatory patterns or varying combinations of them, depending on where these productions are in the spectrum as well as along the children’s development of phonological and articulatory skill. The investigation utilized both group and case study methodology providing evidence that supports the validity of the new perspective. In particular, the child case study showed that CS’s errors were sometimes of an articulatory nature and sometimes of a phonological nature. The group study assessed the speech of children with clefts, that is children who were expected to show patterns of articulatory errors due to their clefts. In spite of this, a combination of articulatory and phonological patterns were evidenced in the speech productions of this group that were shown to improve longitudinally, suggesting that the children were acquiring a typically developing phonological system, albeit with some speech delay.

Chapter Contributors

  • David Ingram ( - davidingram) 'Arizona State University'
  • A. Lynn Williams ( - alwilliams) 'East Tennessee State University'
  • Nancy Scherer ( - nscherer) 'Arizona State University'