Working with Children's Phonology (Working With... Series) by Gwen Lancaster, Lesley Pope, Susanna Evershed Martin

By Gwen Lancaster, Lesley Pope, Susanna Evershed Martin

This guide offers artistic rules and actions on phonology. It examines advances in research and outline of phonological problems and describes their administration within the hospital.

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Page 6 Explanation versus Description These terms relate to the way linguists apply the theory of Natural Phonology. Some consider that phonological processes have psychological reality (see, for example, Stampe, 1969, 1979; Ingram, 1976). The child has an underlying knowledge of the adult phonological system and processes are cognitive or mental operations which systematically deal with the articulatory restrictions which inhibit production of some speech segments. Others (such as Grunwell, 1982, 1985b; Stoel-Gammon and Dunn, 1985), believe that theories of phonological development have not reached sufficient maturity to assume that phonological processes have definite neurological correlates.

Prior to this, we encountered another problem common to many aspects of speech pathology. Although interested in the subject, we found much of the literature on clinical phonology difficult to read, and too far divorced from clinical practice and, in particular, treatment methods and ideas. Part of the reason for phonological theory being difficult to grasp is that terminology is used inconsistently. We have attempted to clarify this situation somewhat by defining our use of terms and describing how others might use them.

Ingram (1975) studied five normally developing children and found that they produced fewer homophones than would be expected taking the limitations of their phonology into account. He noted that some children seemed to adopt unusual simplification processes to keep potentially homophonous words distinct. On the other hand Vihman (1981) proposes that children actively collect homophones. In early language development homophony serves as an organisational strategy of vocabulary building which promotes efficiency at the expense of clarity.

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