Phonological knowledge in typical and atypical speech-sound development

Benjamin Munson, Jan Edwards, Mary E. Beckman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This article discusses 4 types of phonological knowledge: knowledge of the acoustic and perceptual characteristics of speech sounds (perceptual knowledge), knowledge of the articulatory characteristics of speech sounds (articulatory knowledge), higher level knowledge of the ways that words can be divided into sounds and related phonotactic constraints on how sounds can be combined into words (higher level phonological knowledge), and knowledge of the ways that variation in pronunciation can be used to convey social identity (social-indexical knowledge). The first section of the article discusses the nature of these types of knowledge in adults. The second describes how they develop in children with typical language development. The third section outlines how different types of knowledge may be compromised in children with functional speech-sound impairments. Together, these 3 sections serve as a review for practicing clinicians of the types of phonological knowledge that underlie accurate and fluent speech production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-206
Number of pages17
JournalTopics in Language Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Articulatory impairment
  • Phonological impairment
  • Social-indexical knowledge
  • Speech perception
  • Speech production


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