Types of Phonological Processes

Phonological processes: patterns of sound errors that typically developing children use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk. They do this because they lack the ability to appropriately coordinate their lips, tongue, teeth, palate and jaw for clear speech. By age five most children naturally outgrow their use of phonological error patterns.

Substitution Processes: replacing one class of sounds for another class of sounds

1.Gliding – the substitution of a liquid sound (typically letter “l” or “r”) with a glide sound (letters “w”, “y” or “j”).

i.“rail” may be pronounced “wail”
ii.“play” may be pronounced “pway”
iii.“yellow” may be pronounced “yeyyo”
§Usually outgrown by age five

2.Backing – the substitution of a sound produced in the front of the mouth (like “t” or “n”) with a sound produced in the back of the mouth (like “k” or “g”).

i.“duck” may be pronounced “kuck”
ii.“dog” may be pronounced “gog”
iii.“cat” may be pronounced “cak”
§Typically only occurs in children with more sever phonological delays

3.Vowelization – the substitution of a vowel sound for “l” or “er” sounds.

i.“apple” may be pronounced “appoh”
ii.“river” may be pronounced “rivuh”
iii.“care” may be pronounced “cayuh”
§Age of elimination of this process varies from child to child

4.Stopping – the substitution of a stop sound (“b,” “p,” “t,” “d,” “k,” “g”) for a fricative sound (“f,” “v,” “s,” “z,” “h,” “th,” “sh,” and “ch”).

i.“wish” may be pronounced “wit”
ii.“puzzle” may be pronounced “puddle”
iii.“dress” may be pronounced “dret”
§Depending on the fricative sound this process is eliminated between the ages of three and six

5.Fronting – the term used when sounds that should be made in the back of the mouth (velar) are replaced with a sound made in the front of the mouth (alveolar).

i.“cookie” may be pronounced “tootie”
ii.“car” may be pronounced “tar”
iii.“gate” may be pronounced “date”
§Usually eliminated between ages 3-4

Syllable Structure Processes: syllables are reduced, omitted or repeated

1.Cluster reduction – the reduction of a consonant cluster (two consonants next to one another) to one consonant.

i.“Tree” may be pronounced “tee”
ii.“Stay” may be pronounced “say”
iii.“Free” may be pronounced “fee”
§Usually outgrown by 4 years old except for words starting with “s”

2.Final Consonant Deletion – the elimination of the final consonant in a word.

i.“Road” may be pronounced “roh”
ii.“Cat” may be pronounced “ca”
§Usually eliminated by age 3

3.Initial consonant deletion – the elimination of the beginning consonant of a word.

i.“belly” may be pronounced “elly”
ii.“cape” may be pronounced “ape”
§Typically experienced by children with more sever phonological delays

4.Syllable reduction – the elimination of a syllable from a word that contains two or more syllables

i.“Computer” may be pronounced “puter”
ii.“Vanilla” may be pronounced “nilla”
iii.“remote” may be pronounced “mote”
§The unstressed syllable is usually the one children eliminate

Assimilation processes: when sounds/syllables start to sound like surrounding sounds

1.Assimilation – when a consonant sound in a word starts to sound the same as another consonant in the word

i.“cup” may be pronounced “kug”
ii.“name” may be pronounced “mame”
§Typically outgrown by age three but can linger until age nine in more severe cases of phonological delay

2.Reduplication – the repetition of a complete or incomplete syllable in substation for a word.

i.“bottle” may be pronounced “baba”
ii.“daddy” may be pronounced “dada”
iii.“water” may be pronounced “wawa”
§Typically outgrown by age three

3.Denasalization – the substitution of a nasal consonant (“n” or “m”) with a non-nasal consonant (“b” or “d”)

i.“nose” may be pronounced “doze”
ii. “maybe” may be pronounced “baby”
§Typically eliminated by 2.5 years of age

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