Which sounds are used in language, how sounds are combined to form words

Phonological processes

  • Systematic ways in which to alter the sounds of the target language so that they fit within the repertoire of sounds they can produce
  • Canonical form: preexisting whole-word sound pattern (e.g. consonant + vowel + /j/ + vowel + consonant)
  • Articulatory complexity: types of sounds (or sound sequences) that lead individuals with articulatory deficits to make errors


  • Functional load: importance of certain features in making distinctions
  • Phonological awareness: awareness of and ability to work with sounds in spoken language
  • Phonological memory: the ability to remember a sequence of unfamiliar sounds
  • Speech segmentation problem: how do children find word boundaries in a stream of speech