Tag: Phonology

Adding Final Schwa

By Pam Marshalla

Q: What about kids who add a schwa to the end or middle of words? Do you have any ideas for that? I see the addition of a schwa as the child’s way of making a simpler speech motor pattern. According to researchers, the CV is the simplest motor pattern and kids change a CVC to a CV-CV to make it easier. All kids do this — e.g., “mom” changes to “mama” and “dad” changes to “dada”. They also do this with the diminutive —…

Training the Eye to See Potential Oral Motor Problems

By Pam Marshalla

A professor wrote me several years ago. She said she taught articulation and phonology, she had tenure, she did research in phonology, she supervised students, and she had published many articles. She said that she could not “see” the oral-motor problems I was talking about in my writing. She wanted to know what I had to say about that. I wrote back and said that she could not “see” the OM problems I was talking about because she could not…

Prevocalic Voicing

By Pam Marshalla

Q: 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?…

Prevocalic Devoicing

By Pam Marshalla

Q: Can you advise me as to how to treat prevocalic devoicing of stops? This is what I have found works for me- Voice It’s all about “voice on” vs. “voice off” so begin by teaching the client about his voice.  Have him place his fingers on his neck to feel the vibration or lack thereof when he turns his voice on and when he turns it off. Vowels Use “Ah” and whispered “Ah” to teach him to turn his…

Unusual Acquisition of H

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My client had a xyanotic episode at 4-days of age. She had no verbal language until about 24 months. She is now 33 months and is talking quite a bit with delay. But what is throwing me for a loop is that she has changed “mommy” from “Mee-mee” to “Mah-mee” and now to “Hah-mee.” She also substitutes H for other M words. I’ve never seen this. Can you explain it? I don’t have all the info I would need…

Teach the Feature First

By Shanti McGinley

Q: Do I understand your advice? […] When working on producing the ‘hissing” sounds, my focus should be on the airflow and not the correct sound production. For example, the client can’t say Ch but is able to get a lot of airflow on her attempt when probed. So I should reward her when she says Ts instead. Is this correct? My experience and research on normal development demonstrates that children learn MANNER before they learn PLACE features.  Thus, stridency…

Big Ideas for Teaching Phonemes

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a four-year-old male client whose only consonant is D. He says “telephone” as “Deh-duh-doh.” How do I teach him other phonemes? Therapists use a wide variety of methods to stimulate new phonemes.  I have summarized them in an article published by the Oral Motor Institute (Marshalla, 2008).  I also have put this information into my newest seminar, titled “21st Century Articulation Therapy.”  It also will appear in my next book to be called “The Marshalla Guide to…

S Therapy: “Dippers” and “Tippers”

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a client with a lateral lisp, and I have started trying to elicit an S with the tongue tip down. I call a tip-down S a “dipper” and a tip-up S a “tipper.” The dipper position has helped him, but I can’t find any information about the validity of using such an approach. Can you point me in the right direction? I love your terms “tipper” and “dipper.” Excellent shorthand! The tipper and the dipper are allophonic…

Michelle Obama’s “Shtreet” for “Street”

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I have a 21-year-old client with above average intelligence who says “shtreet” for “street.” He also says “undershtanding” for “understanding” and “shtretch” for “stretch.” He seems to do this on purpose. Any comments? It has been my observation that a certain segment of the population––especially those under 25 years of age––uses an “Sh” for “S” substitution in “Str” clusters. The result is “shtreet” and the other examples you have given above. Even Mrs. Obama does this. In the 1970’s, this…

Differentiating “Articulation,” “Oral Motor,” and “Phonology”

By Shanti McGinley

Q: I still cannot seem to explain to colleagues the difference between articulation, oral motor, and phonology. Can you help me one more time? This is the line of thinking I use. It may help you explain these ideas to others–– Movements are used to make phonemes. Phonemes are used to make syllables. Syllables are used to make words. Words are used to make phrases. Phrases are used to make sentences. Sentences are used to make paragraphs. Words, phrases, sentences,…