Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Dr Blanca Schaefer,
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
During early speech development children show inconsistent word productions. Grunwell  describes this variability as different realizations of one target word. It is suggested that this is due to holistic awareness and initial phonological representation during early word acquisition. Due to vocabulary growth and general speech and language development children start processing more and more segmentally and the inconsistency is vanquished. If this inconsistency persists over time it has to be regarded as a core symptom of two severe speech disorders. This variability in word production is said to be overcome by English-speaking children during the first 20-24 months of life . Up to now, no empirical data exist as to when German-speaking children become consistent in their word production. This information is of high importance with respect to prevention of speech and language disorders and speech and language assessment in children referred due to suspected speech difficulties. Therefore, a sample of 28 children aged 2;0-2;11 was selected. The children were split up into two age-groups. A picture naming test was used in order to elicit child utterances. This included 31 items of varied syllable complexity and length which had to be named three times by each child within one session. The data showed a relationship between age and consistency. In the older group the children were in general consistent in their single word production whereas in the younger group a heterogeneous pattern was visible. This supports the assumption of a persistent inconsistency higher than ≥40% as a speech disorder. An analysis of the children’s phonological pattern revealed that non-developmental phonological processes could be detected at a very early age. A follow-up study after three months with 8 children with either deviant phonological pattern (n = 3) or unusual high inconsistency rate (n = 5) was administered. It showed that all but one very young child improved their consistency. However, the deviant phonological pattern qualitatively and quantitatively remained the same. This indicates that speech disorders due to usage of deviant phonological processes can be detected during early speech development.
Author(s): Schaefer B, Fox AV
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Sprache - Stimme - Gehoer
Print publication date: 01/12/2006
Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag
Notes: invalid doi: 10.1055/s-2006-951757