Tutorial: Assessment and analysis of polysyllables in young children

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Polysyllables, words of 3 or more syllables, represent almost 30% of words used in American English. The purpose of this tutorial is to support speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) assessment and analysis of polysyllables, extending the focus of published assessment tools that focus on sampling and analyzing children’s segmental accuracy and/or the presence of phonological error patterns. Method: This tutorial will guide SLPs through a review of 53 research papers that have explored the use of polysyllables in assessment, including the sampling and analysis procedures used in different research studies. The tutorial will also introduce two new tools to analyze and interpret polysyllable speech samples: the Word-Level Analysis of Polysyllables (WAP; Masso, 2016b) and the Framework of Polysyllable Maturity (Framework; Masso, 2016a). Results: Connected speech and single-word sampling tasks were used across the 53 studies to elicit polysyllables, and a number of analysis methods were reported, including measures of segmental accuracy and measures of structural and suprasegmental accuracy. The WAP and the Framework extend SLPs’ depth of analysis of polysyllables. Conclusion: SLPs need a range of clinical tools to support the assessment and analysis of polysyllables. A case study comparing different speech analysis methods demonstrates the clinical value in utilizing the WAP and the Framework to interpret children’s polysyllable productions in addition to traditional methods of speech sampling and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-58
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Grant Number

  • DP130102545


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