Starting Position for Speech Movement

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I am working on my master’s thesis on a topic related to the basis of articulation and the neutral/starting positions. I would like to expand my research beyond the linguistics domain into the neighboring fields of speed physiology and therapy. I read your notes “The Roles of Oral Rest Posture and Neutral Position in Articulation” and would like to cite it. Have you published it anywhere? Perhaps you have mentioned starting position in your other publications?

I am currently writing a book I am calling “The Marshalla Guide to 21st Century Articulation Therapy” to be published in 2012-13.  It will have an entire chapter on the oral stability, oral rest, and the starting position for speech.

I wrote the paper you mentioned to satisfy the great number of questions I receive regularly about oral stability.  You can site that paper as coming from the website.

For your information, I just began using the term “starting position” in that paper. I think it’s a better term than anything else we have used before. All my other publications use the terms “jaw stability,” “oral stability” and “oral control.”

Pam’s References for this Concept

  • Frontal Lisp, Lateral Lisp”:  This book contains the most I have written so far about this topic.  I wrote about jaw and tongue instability in the frontal lisp in Chapter 3.  I also discuss it in relation to the lateral lisp in Chapter 4.  And I talk about methods to stabilize the jaw for the frontal lisp in Chapter 8.
  • Successful R Therapy”:   I talk about jaw instability related to misarticulations of /r/ in Chapter 2.
  • Oral-Motor Techniques in Articulation and Phonological Therapy”:  I have entire chapters on jaw and tongue movements in speech that discuss the role of oral stability.

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