Phonological Processes In Typical Development

As children learn to speak, they tend to use some different sound errors or patterns as they are not yet able to use all the sounds in all the different word positions that most adults can use. These are called phonological processes. As they get older, these typically disappear as they become more able to pronounce all the words they need to use correctly. For the typical ages that phonological processes are gone by, please click here.

Below, the name of the phonological process is given, along with an example and a description of what is happening to create the process. 

  • Pre-vocalic voicing:    car = gar    A voiceless sound preceding a vowel is replaced by a voiced sound.
  • Word final devoicing:    red = ret    A final voiced consonant is replaced by a voiceless consonant
  • Final consonant deletion:    boat = bo    A final consonant is omitted (deleted) from a word.
  • Velar fronting:    car = tar    A back sound is replaced by a front sound.
  • Palatal fronting:    ship = sip    sh or zh are replaced b y s or z respectively
  • Consonant harmony:    cup = pup    The pronunciation of a word is influenced by one of the sounds it 'should' contain.
  • Weak syllable deletion:    telephone = teffone    Weak (unstressed) syllables are deleted from words of more than one syllable.
  • Cluster reduction:    try = ty    A cluster element is deleted or replaced.
  • Gliding of liquids:    ladder = wadder    Liquids are replaced by glides.
  • Stopping:    ship = tip    A stop consonant replaces a fricative or affricate.

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  • Bowen, C. (2011). Table 2: Phonological Processess. Retrieved from on 16/01/2016.