Norms for Phonological Processes

Have you ever noticed your child making repetitive errors while learning to speak like adults?

Symptoms of phonological processes include repetitive sound errors, difficulty organizing the sound patterns, and inability to form the sounds of words correctly.

Norms for Phonological Processes

Things like “poon” for “spoon” “bus” for “buzz” and “banana” for “nana” happen commonly with children. When a phonological process persists beyond the expected age at which it should have been resolved, a child is considered to have a phonological delay.

Let’s take a look at the ages for when common phonological processes should stop being used:

Being used:

Phonological Process
Age by which the process is typically gone
Pre-Vocalic Voicing
When a voiceless consonant at the beginning of a word is substituted with a voiced consonant. Typical examples include changing /k/→→ /g/, /t/→→/d/, /p/→→/b/ and /f/→→/v/.
“gar” for “car” “big” for “pig”
3 Years
Word Final Devoicing
When a voiced consonant (e.g. /g/ or /z/) at the end of a word is substituted with a voiceless consonant (e.g. /k/ or /s/). 
“pick” for “pig” “bus” for “buzz”
3 Years
Final Consonant Deletion
When the final consonant in a word is left off. 
 “go” for “goat” 
3 Years, 3 Months
When a back sound (velar or palatal sounds - e.g. /k/, /g/, and /sh/), is substituted with a front sound (alveolar sounds - e.g. /t/, /d/, and /s/). 
“tee” for “key” “sop” for “shop
3 Years, 6 Months
Consonant Harmony
When the pronunciation of a whole word is influenced by the presence of one particular sound in the word.
“pup” for “cup” “mime” for “mine”
3 Years, 9 Months
Fricative Simplification
When a later developing fricative (e.g. /th/) is replaced by an earlier developing one (e.g. /f/ or /v/).
“thumb” as “fum” “feather” as “feva” 
5 Years
Gliding of Liquids
When /r/ becomes a /w/, and /l/ becomes a /w/ or /y/ sound.
“wed” for “red” “yeyo” for “yellow” 
5 Years

Download this list of phonological processes and development timeframes

How Do We Treat Articulation and Phonological Patterns?

Articulation and phonology refer to the way sound is produced. A child with an articulation disorder may struggle with forming speech sounds properly. A child with a phonological disorder can produce the sounds correctly but may use them in the wrong place.

We at PASTS can help your child’s speech articulation development or phonological processes efficiently by partnering with you to work on these skills every day at home. 

PASTS provides speech, language, voice, feeding, and myofunctional therapy to clients of all ages. Our goal is to increase an individual’s speech intelligibility, language, and necessary tools for improving quality of life. Individual programs are available to address:

Contact us today for more information about you or your child’s speech, language, feeding, and myofunctional needs.
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