The contribution of polysyllabic words in clinical decision making about children's speech

Deborah G. H. James, Jan van Doorn, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Poor polysyllabic word (PSW) production seems to mark paediatric speech impairment as well as impairment in language, literacy and phonological processing. As impairment in these domains may only manifest in PSWs, PSW production may provide unique information that is often excluded from clinical decision making because insufficient PSWs are included in speech tests. A 5-stage model of PSW acquisition is described. The model, grounded in optimality theory, expresses a reciprocal relationship between the relaxation of markedness constraints and the contraction of faithfulness constraints from 12 months of age to adolescence. The markedness constraints that persist to the age of 7;11 years are associated with non-final weak syllables and within-word consonant sequences. Output changes are argued to reflect increasing specification of phonological representations with age, liberating information for motor planning and execution, resulting in increasingly accurate output. The clinical implications of PSWs in assessment and therapy are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Volume22
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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decision making
Language
Pediatrics
adolescence
literacy
planning
language
Clinical Decision Making
Markedness
Word Production
Impairment
Clinical Decision-Making
Therapeutics
Consonant
Contraction
Therapy
Phonological Processing
Literacy
Information Age
Phonological Representations

Cite this

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The contribution of polysyllabic words in clinical decision making about children's speech. / James, Deborah G. H.; van Doorn, Jan; McLeod, Sharynne.

In: Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, Vol. 22, No. 4-5, 2008, p. 345-353.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - McLeod, Sharynne

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