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Phonological Processes

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Does your child say top instead of stop or bock instead of block? Maybe you notice that your child says nana instead of banana or puter instead of computer? Your child may be demonstrating phonological processes, which are patterns that young children use to simplify adult speech. Many children use these processes while their speech and language are developing.

Below is a list of different types of phonological processes that your child may be exhibiting. They are broken down into the following three areas: syllable structure, substitution, and assimilation.

Syllable Structure: Sound changes that cause sounds or syllables to be reduced, omitted, or repeated

Cluster Reduction is the deletion of one or more consonants from a two or three consonant cluster (e.g. “poon” for “spoon”, “tuck” for “truck”)

Final Consonant Deletion is the deletion of a final consonant sound in a word (e.g. “cuh” for “cup”, “dah” for “dog”)

Initial Consonant Deletion is the deletion of the initial consonant sound in a word (e.g. “up” for “cup”, “un” for “sun”)

Weak Syllable Deletion is the deletion of a weak syllable in a word (e.g. “nana” for “banana”, “puter” for “computer”)

Substitution: Sound changes in which one sound class replaces another sound class

Backing is the substitution of a sound produced in front of the mouth with a sound produced in the back of the mouth (e.g. “gog” for “dog”)

Fronting is the substitution of a sound produced in the back of the mouth with a sound produced in the front of the mouth (e.g. “tey” for “key”)

Gliding is the substitution of a glide (w, y) sound for a liquid (l, r) sound (e.g. “yike” for “like”, “wug“ for “rug”)

Stopping is the substitution of a stop (b, p, t, d, k, g) sound for a fricative (f, v, s, z, h, th, sh, zh) or affricate (ch, j) sound (e.g. “toap” for “soap”, “tair” for “chair”)

Vowelization is the substitution of a vowel sound for a liquid (l, r) sound (e.g. “bay-uh” for “bear”)

Affrication is the substitution of an affricate (ch, j) sound for an nonaffricate sound (e.g. “choe” for “shoe”)

Deaffrication is the substitution of a nonaffricate sound for an affricate (ch, j) sound (e.g. “ship” for “chip”)

Alveolarization is the substitution of an alveolar sound for a nonalveolar sound (e.g. “tum” for “thumb”)

Depalatalization is the substitution of a nonpalatal sound for a palatal sound (e.g. “fit” for “fish”)

Labialization is the substitution of a labial sound for a nonlabial sound (e.g. “mouf” for “mouth

Assimilation: Sound changes in which one sound will start to sound like another, surrounding sound

Assimilation is when a consonant sound starts to sound like another sound in the word (e.g. “bub” for “bus”)

•Denasalization is when a nasal consonant like “m” or “n” changes to a nonnasal consonant like “b” or “d” (e.g. “dore” for “more”)

•Final Consonant Devoicing is when a voiced consonant (e.g. b, d) at the end of a word is substituted with a voiceless consonant (e.g. p, t) (e.g. “tup” for “tub”)

•Prevocalic Voicing is when a voiceless consonant (e.g. k, f) in the beginning of a word is substituted with a voiced consonant (e.g. g, v) (e.g. “gup” for “cup”)

•Coalescence is when two phonemes are substituted with a different phoneme that still has similar features (e.g. “foon” for “spoon”)

•Reduplication is when a complete or incomplete syllable is repeated (e.g. “baba” for “bottle”)