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Some motoric parameters of functional misarticulation Cox, Brian John Alfred

Abstract

The description of functional or developmental misarticulation in terms of phoneme-specific speech-motor behaviour has been unsatisfactory because of much inconsistency. Some of the inconsistency has been eliminated by postulating phoneme position-in-a-word as pertinent to articulation difficulty. However research tends to point to patterns of basic speech-motor behaviour larger than phoneme-specific units. Two such supra-phoneme motoric parameters are hypothesized and tested in the responses of a group of 65 normal kindergarten children, using test items selected from the Templin-Darley Diagnostic Test of Articulation. These test items were dichotomized as hypothetically easy or difficult in terms of the two proposed parameters, namely range of anterior-posterior tongue movement and number of lingual constrictions of the buccal cavity, required in the response to each test item. Also, in each instance of misarticulation, the substituted response was analysed for changes with respect to the hypothesized parameters. Responses were electronically tape recorded and phonetically analysed under controlled conditions. Results indicated some evidence for range of anterior-posterior tongue movement as an independent parameter of speech-motor behaviour of kindergarten children. However this was not the case for number-of-lingual-constrictions of the buccal cavity.

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