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Phonological Intervention Options: Variations of Minimal Pair Contrasts. Minimal Pairs Maximal Oppositions Empty Set Multiple Oppositions. Minimal Pairs. Single contrastive pairings of child’s error with the target sound Example: g ~ d / #___ go ~ doe gate ~ date gown ~ down

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phonological intervention options variations of minimal pair contrasts
Phonological Intervention Options: Variations of Minimal Pair Contrasts
  • Minimal Pairs
  • Maximal Oppositions
  • Empty Set
  • Multiple Oppositions
minimal pairs
Minimal Pairs
  • Single contrastive pairings of child’s error with the target sound
  • Example: g ~ d / #___

go ~ doe gate ~ date gown ~ down

  • Assumes child will fill in the gap between what is trained and what still needs to be learned across the rule set
  • Assumes adult-based categories (e.g., backing) are the basis for child’s error and sound organization
  • Predicts that target contrast is generalizable to other phonetically similar sounds affected by the child’s error pattern (e.g., g ~ d will generalize to other alveolars affected by backing process)
research support
Research Support
  • Weiner (1981) reported a case study claiming that minimal pairs were efficient and effective in eliminating or reducing error patterns in children who displayed multiple phonological errors.
  • Although a more recent study by Ingham and Saben (1991) questioned the effectiveness of this approach, minimal pairs has generally been widely adopted as a phonological approach for children with speech disorders.
maximal oppositions
Maximal Oppositions
  • Single contrastive pairings of comparison sound with the target sound
  • Comparison sound must be known, independent, and maximally different from target sound (i.e., contrasts known ~ unknown using maximally different phonemes)
  • Example: m ~ d / #___

moo ~ dew more ~ door mate ~ date

  • Assumes phonemic distinctiveness (i.e., salience) of comparison sound will facilitate learning
  • Assumes child will fill in the gap of missing phonemic features (i.e., frication, voicing, coronal) based on distinctiveness of contrastive pairing
  • Predicts that target contrast will create system-wide change on basis of child filling in phonemic gaps
research support1
Research Support
  • Gierut (1990) compared the relative effectiveness of maximal oppositions to minimal pair therapy with three children who exhibited phonological disorders. She reported that the results indicated that maximal oppositions were more effective than minimal pair therapy in improvement of trained sounds and the addition of more untrained sounds to the children’s phonetic inventory.
empty set
Empty Set
  • Single contrastive pairings of two target sounds
  • Treatment sounds must be unknown, independent, and maximally different from each other (i.e., contrasts unknown ~ unknown using maximally different phonemes)
  • Example: r ~ d / #___

row ~ doe ray ~ day rye ~ dye

  • Assumes phonemic distinctiveness (i.e., salience) of two target sounds will facilitate learning
  • Assumes child will fill in the inventory gaps based on distinctiveness of contrastive pairings and learning 2 new sounds simultaneously
  • Predicts that target contrast will create greater system-wide change on basis of child filling in phonemic gaps and learning more than one phoneme at a time
research support2
Research Support
  • Gierut (1991) examined the effectiveness of the treatment of the empty set in comparison to minimal pair therapy with three children who had phonological disorders. She reported that treatment of the empty set resulted in greater phonological change than was obtained with minimal pair therapy. Gierut further claimed that the empty set resulted in the addition of more untrained sounds to the child’s inventory than occurred following minimal pair therapy. Finally, learning was enhanced by maximal differences and major class distinctions.
multiple oppositions
Multiple Oppositions
  • Multiple contrastive pairings of child’s error with several target sounds from across an entire rule set.
  • Targets selected from phoneme collapse on basis of distance metric
  • Example: d

f

g t # _____

st

dew Dane door

food fame four

goo chew gain chain Gore chore

stew stain store

multiple oppositions1
Multiple Oppositions
  • Assumes learning is facilitated by the size and nature of linguistic “chunks” presented to the child (learning of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts)
  • Assumes learning is a dynamic interaction between child’s unique sound system and intervention
  • Predicts learning will be generalized across a rule set (i.e., learning will generalize to obstruents and clusters collapsed to [g] in the 1:17 phoneme collapse) and result in system-wide restructuring.
research support3
Research Support
  • Williams & Kalbfleisch (2002) reported intervention data using the multiple opposition treatment approach with 14 children who exhibited moderate to profound phonological impairments. They found that 86% of the target sounds that were treated achieved statistical significance in 21 treatment sessions or less. Further, system-wide phonological change, as measured by PPK, significantly increased from a pre-treatment mean of 38.7% to a post-treatment mean of 62.5%. An increase was observed for each child.
video examples of 4 contrastive approaches with as
Video Examples of 4 Contrastive Approaches with AS
  • Use data sheets to collect data with video for each intervention approach
  • Use rating sheet to evaluate each intervention approach
    • Which one do you prefer? Why?
    • Which one do you think AS prefers? Why?
does one approach fit all
Does One Approach Fit All?
  • Probably not. I think approaches can best be selected on basis of child’s PI and severity.
  • For children with mild-moderate phonological severity, minimal pairs may be most appropriate
  • For children with severe phonological severity and large gaps in their phonetic inventory, maximal oppositions, empty set, or multiple oppositions may be most appropriate
  • As children progress in tx, they may start with one approach (e.g., multiple oppositions) and shift to another approach (e.g., minimal pairs)
  • We need intervention studies that compare different tx approaches in variety of independent labs
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