Nonlinear / Phonotactic Therapy

Must-read article

"Words derive their structure not only from the sounds they include but also from the organization of those sounds within the word. This organization is the phonotactic level of the word: roughly, its shape including the sequence of its elements. Often, children with immature or disordered phonologies demonstrate phonotactic as well as phonetic limitations. Sometimes, the child may produce an age-appropriate variety of consonants and vowels but be unable to use them in the configurations required by the language: final consonants, clusters, multisyllabic words, and so forth. In such cases, the most appropriate therapy goals may be phonotactic, rather than phonetic, ones. Studies have shown that clinical focus on a new word or syllable shape may generalize well beyond the specific sound or sounds targeted in that position. These ideas are explored in this article, along with specific therapy results and recommendations for various phonotactic limitations”. Velleman, 2002


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Velleman, S. (2002). Phonotactic therapy. Seminars in Speech and Language, 23, 43-57. Click here

Intervention resources

The very readable and practical Phonotactic Therapy article above inspired the creation of several resource for working on syllable structure errors around natural phonological tendencies, metrical stress and chaining.