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Phonological Analysis of Child Speech. Relational Analysis. Model of Speech Disorders. A speech disorder can be phonetic (articulatory), phonemic (phonologic), or both The broader term “speech disorder” encompasses all of these. Nature of Assessment.

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model of speech disorders
Model of Speech Disorders
  • A speech disorder can be phonetic (articulatory), phonemic (phonologic), or both
  • The broader term “speech disorder” encompasses all of these
nature of assessment
Nature of Assessment
  • Phonological analysis includes the identification, description, and classification of sound differences in a child’s speech that signal meaning differences
  • 3 key concepts in phonological analysis (Grunwell, 1997):
    • System
    • Structure
    • Stability
  • Includes a set (or inventory) of different sounds produced by the child
  • Adequate sound systems are symmetrical
    • Sounds are contrastive in place, voice, and manner and function to signal differences in meaning
    • Sounds function contrastively in all word positions (I, M, F)
  • Refers to the rules and organization of the sound system
  • Specifies the distribution and combination of sounds in a language
    • Example: [] cannot occur # ___

[pl, bl, kl, gl] are permissable clusters, but not *[tl, dl]

  • Refers to the predictability of the speaker’s systemic and structural patterns (or organization) of their sound system
  • The inventory of sounds (SYSTEM) and the rules that govern the distribution and combination of sounds (STRUCTURE) provide the organization and therefore predictability of a “phonology”
relational analysis
Relational Analysis
  • Child’s speech compared to adult speech in a one-to-one comparison
  • Differences between the two productions can be described in terms of SODA, phonological processes, PVM error patterns
  • Only describes error sounds, therefore, often called an ERROR ANALYSIS
independent analysis
Independent Analysis
  • Child’s speech is described as a unique, independent, self-contained sound system
  • NO comparisons made between child:adult systems
  • Describes what the child DOES rather than what the child does NOT do (as in error/relational analysis)
issues in completing a phonological analysis of child speech
Issues in Completing a Phonological Analysis of Child Speech
  • Type and length of sample
    • Sound inventory ~ pattern test
    • Elicited single word ~ conversational
    • 50 words ~ > 300 words
  • Phonetic transcription
    • Must complete whole-word transcription
  • Severity of disorder
    • Mild-moderate: relational analysis of sound inventory or pattern test may be sufficient
    • Severe-profound: independent + relational analyses with larger samples (150-200 words)
two frameworks for phonological analysis
Two Frameworks for Phonological Analysis
  • Relational Analysis
    • SODA
    • Distinctive feature analysis
    • Phonological process analysis
    • PVM analysis
  • Independent + Relational Analyses
    • PPK
    • Systemic phonological analysis of child speech (SPACS)
phonological process analysis
Phonological Process Analysis
  • Number of commercial tests available
    • Dunn (1982): APP identified most patterns
  • Non-standardized phonological process analyses
    • Dunn (1982): non-standardized analysis was better than APP
list of common phonological processes
List of Common Phonological Processes
  • Common to many commercial tests, but not tied to any one published test
  • Listed according to syllable structure (deletion) processes and sound simplification (substitution and assimilation) processes
considerations in completing non standardized phonological process analysis
Considerations in completing non-standardized phonological process analysis
  • Choose the process that BEST describes error pattern
    • Ex: [o] for [so] could be either BACKING or PALATALIZATION; PAL provides more precise description of what child is doing than broader label of BA
  • In general, each process only changes one aspect of PLACE, VOICE, or MANNER
    • Process ordering (Edwards, 1992)
process ordering
Process Ordering
  • Sequential application of processes when one sound error involves more than one phonological process (PDI)
  • “unraveling” of child’s error productions relative to adult target
    • Example: /f/ adult target

s apicalization

t stopping

d prevocalic voicing

[d] child’s pronunciation

steps in completing a non standardized phonological process analysis
Steps in completing a non-standardized phonological process analysis
  • Complete whole-word transcription of speech
  • Transcribe target word according to AT
  • Apply appropriate phonological processes in sequential manner until all aspects of sound change are accounted
  • Summarize results (Summary Sheet)
  • Select appropriate tx goals
summary sheet
Summary Sheet
  • Organize/summarize results
    • Frequency of occurrence of each process
    • Process limitation/application
    • Developmental information on processes
select tx targets
Select tx targets
  • 3 perspectives
    • Intelligibility perspective
      • most frequently occurring process(es)
    • Developmental perspective
      • Select earliest process(es) that should have been suppressed
    • Combination
advantages disadvantages of phonological process analysis
Advantages/Disadvantages of Phonological Process Analysis
  • Advantage
    • Describes error patterns
    • Terms are “user friendly”
  • Disadvantage
    • Time needed to complete analysis
    • Selection of tx targets from summary sheet
place voice manner analysis
Place-Voice-Manner Analysis
  • Describes error patterns in terms of 3 broad categories of consonant production (P-V-M)
  • Similar to phonological process analysis
  • Analysis is completed on PVM Analysis Form
steps in completing a pvm analysis
Steps in completing a PVM analysis
  • Complete whole-word transcriptions
  • Use black/red markers to color code
  • Mark each consonant with appropriate color in appropriate box on PVM form
  • List phonetic inventory
  • Summarize error patterns according to PVM
  • Select tx targets
advantages disadvantages of pvm analysis
Advantages/Disadvantages of PVM Analysis


  • Relatively simple and quick to complete
  • Visual representation of error patterns
    • Selection of treatment targets is easier
  • Form useful to communicate with parents and others
  • Form useful to compare pre/post test results


  • does not identify assimilation errors