Prevocalic Voicing

By Pam Marshalla

4593641402_e572d6feca_mQ: I am targeting /f/ in the initial position. My client is able to produce /f/ at the word level; however, he adds a /v/ after the /f/ for every word; i.e., /fvood/ for /food/. I exhausted all techniques in my bag of tricks! I am currently having him whisper words and trying to add voicing back to the word; however, that /v/ keeps popping back up. Do you have any other ideas or advice on how to target this? Thank you!

Your client is turning his voice on too early.  As you know we call this Prevocalic Voicing.  He is turning it on while he is still fricating, and he needs to learn to turn it on as he transitions to the vowel.

He needs to understand his voice better and how to turn it on and off at will.

This is what I do–

  1. Practice the fricative cognates in isolation: F, V, S, Z, SH, Zh.  Have him use his fingers to feel his neck at the larynx to help him feel his voice going on and off.
  2. Then practice these sets in sequences.  This exercise will help him learn to turn the voice on and off in sequence at the right time.  Make sure he “keeps the air going”.  In other words, teach him to transition from [+voice] to [-voice] and vice versa without stopping the air––
    • S-Z-S-Z-S-Z-S-Z…
    • F-V-F-V-F-V-F-V…
    • SH-ZH-SH-ZH-SH-ZH…
  1. Then practice words that END in /f/– off, calf, buff…  Teach him he is turning off his voice at the right time.
  1. Then go to initial /f/ and teach him to wait before he turns his voice on.
  1. Spell this out orthographically:   O F F     B U F F     F U N   F A T

1 thought on “Prevocalic Voicing”

  1. Try inserting an “h” after the “f” like “f-heel”. If I need to, I have the student say “H-h-heel” then add the “f” while still exaggerating the “h”.

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