Between-word simplification patterns in the continuous speech of children with speech sound disorders

Harriet B. Klein, May Liu-Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study was designed to identify and describe between-word simplification patterns in the continuous speech of children with speech sound disorders. It was hypothesized that word combinations would reveal phonological changes that were unobserved with single words, possibly accounting for discrepancies between the intelligibility of single-word samples and that of continuous speech. Method: Four boys with developmental speech sound disorders provided samples of single words and continuous speech. Substitutions and deletions with single words formed the basis for determining 2 categories of between-word segment mismatches: observed and novel. Mismatches were attributed to one of 4 types of between-word simplifications reported for typical phonological development: between-word consonant deletion, between-word cluster reduction, between-word consonant sequence reduction, and between-word assimilation. Results: Continuous speech revealed observed and novel patterns. Segment mismatches occurred differentially among potential between-word simplification environments. The most frequently occurring novel pattern involved the deletion of a coda consonant within a between-word consonant sequence. Conclusions: Children with speech sound disorders demonstrated substitutions and deletions between words in continuous speech that may not be predicted on the basis of single-word productions. The identification of potential contexts for such mismatches may serve as a framework for the assessment of continuous speech samples of children with speech sound disorders in health care and school settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Between-word simplification patterns
  • Child
  • Continuous speech
  • Phonological processes
  • Speech sound disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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