Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences


Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Erickson

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Van Riper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chapter I

The Background and Purpose of the Study


Clinical experience as well as considerable research, which will be discussed later in this chapter, has shown that children are inconsistent in their misarticulation of speech sounds. Children who typically misarticulate a sound may, nevertheless, articulate the sound correctly in certain words. Several authors have suggested that these occasional correct productions of the usually misarticulated sound can be useful in therapy. For example, in a discussion of therapy techniques Van Riper (32, p. 273) has recommended the use of "key words" in helping a child correct his articulation errors:

Although occasional cases are found who never make the sound correctly, the majority of speech defectives have a few words in which they do not make the error. The teacher should be alert enough to catch these when they do occur. Often these words are those which have the usually defective sound in an inconspicuous place -- this is to say, the sound occurs in the medial or final position, or is incorporated within a blend; seldom is it found in an accented syllable ... These words are worth the trouble needed to discover them, for they simplify the teacher's work tremendously, since it is possible to use that sound as a standard and guide and it work from it to other words in which error normally occurs.