What is Articulation and Phonology?

Articulation involves how a child produces a sound, while coordinating the tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech organs. Difficulty producing age appropriate sounds can impact a child’s ability to be understood. Phonology refers to patterns of sound production that make speech production easier for children. Children who are not easily understood tend to have difficulty expressing basic wants and needs, making verbal requesting when hungry, and indicating sickness or discomfort. As children get older, these communication difficulties can often result in tantrums, social withdrawal, and/or reduced participation in age appropriate activities.


Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder caused when a child has difficulty sending messages from the brain to the mouth. The brai [...]


Articulation is how a sound is made using accurate and coordinated movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, teeth, and soft palate. Articulation is also imp [...]


Phonology refers to the patterns of sound production, and phonological disorders refer to simplification strategies that children use to make speech p [...]



Birth - 3 Months

Makes reflexive sounds (e.g. crying, vocalizing to internal stimuli)

4 - 6 Months

Coos; laughs; engages in vocal play

6 - 12 Months

By 9 months babbles reduplicated syllables (e.g. “yayaya, dadada”); babbles/uses jargon with inflection, by 12 months produces variegated babbling (e.g. “yadata badoteeda”)

12 - 18 Months

Speech is 25-50% intelligible to listeners; produces primarily Consonant-Vowel (CV) syllable shapes (e.g. “ba/bottle, da/dog”); frequently uses reduplication (e.g. “baba”), syllable deletion (e.g. “nana” for “banana”), assimilation (e.g. “guck” for “duck”), and final consonant deletion (e.g. “pih” for “pig”)

18 - 2 Years

Speech is 50% intelligible to listeners; 70% of consonants are correct; begins to use CVC syllable shapes (e.g. “dog, cat, hop”) and two-syllable words

2 - 3 Years

Speech is 50-75% intelligible to listeners; produces sounds /p, b, m, k, g, f, w, h/ by age 3; produces all vowels correctly

3 - 4 Years

Produces sounds /sh, ch, v/ by age 4; suppresses the use of reduplication, syllable deletion, assimilation, final consonant deletion, velar fronting (e.g. “tat” for “cat”), prevocalic voicing (e.g. “ben” for “pen”), deaffrication (e.g. “sew” for “chew”), and cluster reduction excluding “s” (e.g. “boo” for “blue”)

4 - 5 Years

Speech is 75-90% intelligible to listeners; produces sounds /l, th, s, z/ by age 5; suppresses the use of depalatalization (e.g. “too” for “shoe”), final consonant devoicing (e.g. “pick” for “pig”), cluster reduction with “s” (e.g. “top” for “stop”)

5 - 6 Years

Speech is 90-100% intelligible to listeners; suppresses gliding of liquids (e.g. substituting “w” or “y” for “l” and/or “r”)

If you have concerns for your child’s Articulation Skills, contact us today for a FREE screening!



Tri-County Therapy contact information for children with speech delays in Anderson and Charleston, SC.