Tongue–palate contact during selected vowels in children with speech sound disorders


There is evidence that complete tongue-palate contact across the palate during production of vowels can be observed in some children with speech disorders associated with cleft palate in the English-speaking and Japanese-speaking populations. Although it has been shown that this is not a feature of typical vowel articulation in English-speaking adults, tongue-palate contact during vowel production in typical children and English-speaking children with speech sound disorders (SSD) have not been reported in detail. Therefore, this study sought to determine whether complete tongue-palate contact occurs during production of five selected vowels in 10 children with SSD and eight typically-developing children. The results showed that none of the typical children had complete contact across the palate during any of the vowels. However, of the 119 vowels produced by the children with SSD, 24% showed complete contact across the palate during at least a portion of the vowel segment. The results from the typically-developing children suggest that complete tongue-palate contact is an atypical articulatory feature. However, the evidence suggests that this pattern occurs relatively frequently in children with SSD. Further research is needed to determine the prevalence, cause, and perceptual consequence of complete tongue-palate contact.

International Journal of Speech-language Pathology, 16(6)