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Phonologically disordered German-speaking children

Lookup NU author(s): Annette Fox, Professor Barbara Dodd


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Speech sound disorders affect more children than any other developmental communication disorder and are associated with longterm social and academic difficulties. The diversity of presenting symptoms has resulted in the need for classifying subgroups of speech disorders. Research on English-speaking children suggests that there are four types of surface speech error patterns (B. Dodd, 1995): articulation disorder (e.g., lisp); delay (i.e., normal developmental patterns that are inappropriate for chronological age); consistent use of atypical error patterns (e.g., deletion of all initial consonants); and inconsistent pronunciation of the same lexical items. Classification typologies should be language independent. This study investigated whether the same four subgroups, in similar proportions, would be found in German-speaking children who had disordered speech. A total of 110 monolingual German-speaking children, aged 2 years 7 months to 7 years 7 months, participated in the study. They had been referred for assessment of a suspected speech disorder. The results supported the subgroup classification, providing evidence for the universal character of speech disorders. One significant difference was the relatively high proportion of children classified as having an articulation disorder. This was explained by the uncertainty regarding a lisp as a disorder in German, since it is also found in up to 40% of normally developing children of the same age. The theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fox AV, Dodd B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Speech - Language Pathology

Year: 2001

Volume: 10

Issue: 3

Pages: 291-307

ISSN (print): 1058-0360

ISSN (electronic): 1558-9110

Publisher: American Speech - Language - Hearing Association


DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2001/026)


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