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Glossary

Pick a letter, find a word:

A-B   C-D   E-F   G-H   I-J   K-L   M-N   O-P   Q-R   S-T   U-V   W-X   Y-Z


A-B

Acoustics
Having to do with the properties of sound

Alvealor
Speech sounds produced from contact between articulators at the alveolar ridges (immediately behind upper front teeth). Some American English alveolar consonants are [t], [d], [s], and [z].

Articulation
Contact between two structures (such as the lips, jaw, tongue, velum) of the oral cavity that shapes the vocal tract.

Articulators
In speech production, the moveable and nonmoveable structures used to produce speech sounds (tongue, lips, jaw, palate).

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Communication modes used to supplement or as an alternative to oral language, including gestures, sign language, picture symbols, the alphabet, and computers with synthetic speech.

Babbling
Nonmeaningful sequences of consonants and vowels produced by infants

Bilabial
consonants formed by using both lips, for example,  [p], [b], [m]

Blends
Consonant clusters (for example, /bl/, or /sk/)

Broca's Area
An area in the dominant cerebral hemisphere, responsible for motor planning for speech and other aspects of expressive language.


C-D

Coarticulation
The phenomenon in speech production in which sounds in succession overlap as compared to being produced as entirely separate sounds.

Core Vocabulary
Highly functional, meaningful, high-frequency words and phrases

Cue Fading
Therapy technique in which cues or prompts are slowly withdrawn to encourage the child's independent response.

Diodochokinesis (DDK)
A task involving repetition of movements requiring alternating contraction of various muscles associated with speech (pah-tah-kah).

Discourse
Verbal exchanges between speakers on a shared topic.

Drill
Repetitive practice of speech targets.

Dyad
Two children interacting.

Dysarthria
A neurogenic speech disorder that results in weakness, slowness, or incoordination of the muscles of respiration, phonation, articulation, and resonation.

Dysprosody
impairment of the prosodic aspects of speech, such as stress, rhythm, and intonation


E-F

Electroencephalography (EEG)
Technique for recording brain electrical activity.

Epenthesis
Sound intrusion process in which a sound is inserted between consonants in a consonant cluster (e.g., blue pronounced buh-loo)

Etiology
Underlying factors and causing leading to a disorder.

Frenulum
Membrane from the tongue's underside to the floor of the mouth.

Fricative
A speech sound produced by a long interval of turbulence noise (ie: [s] and [f]).


G-H

Glide
A consonant sound that has a gradual (gliding) change in articulation.

Grammar
The collection of rules or acceptable patterns of a language.

Groping
Speech attempts produced with effort and hesitation to achieve the correct posture.

Hard palate
The bony part of the roof of the mouth.

Hyperlexia
A precocious ability to recognize written words significantly above an individual's language or cognitive skill level.

Hypernasal
Excessive nasal resonance.

Hyponasal
Deficient nasal resonance.

Hypotonia
Low muscle tone.


I-J

Individualized Educational Plan
An education plan required by federal law (IDEA) and developed by the school district team and parents that outlines educational goals and objectives for children with disabilities.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA) Mandates free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities over the age of 3 years and encourages early intervention services for children below 3 years of age.

Intelligibility
The degree to which an individual's speech can be understood by familiar or unfamiliar listeners.

Intonation
The melody of speech provided by variation of pitch.


K-L

Kinethesia
Self-awareness of movement; including sense of one's own body parts,  direction,  and weight.

Language Disorder
Slower than expected and unusual language development unrelated to primary intellectual, sensory, or emotional deficits.

Lexical Stress
The pattern of the stressed and unstressed syllables in words.

Lexicon
Mental storage of vocabulary of a language, knowledge about words, including sounds, meanings, and grammar.

Lingual
Referring to the tongue.

Literacy
Ability to read, spell and to communicate through written language.


M-N

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Computerized image technology that uses nuclear magnetic resonance to create cross sectional images, or "slices," of targeted part of the body.

Mandible
Lower jaw.

Mean Length of Utterance (MLU)
Average length of a sample of 50 to 100 child utterances; computed by dividing the total number of words/morphemes in the utterance sample by the number of utterances.

Metacognitive
The ability to reflect and think about the "thinking" process itself.

Metathesis
Error pattern in which two sounds in a word are reversed (basketball pronounced as baksetball)

Minimal Pairs
Treatment technique in which a person is exposed to two sets of stimuli that differ in only one dimension, usually in order to teach the child differences in meaning that result from differences in speech productions.

Morphology
Units of meaning that make up the grammar of a language.

Multisensory
Approach that emphasizes the use of vision, hearing, and touch to provide additional information to help shape a child's speech production.

Narrative
Ability to describe events in a sequential, chronologically correct, and logically consistent manner.

Nasal
Class of consonants made with the velum (soft palate) down such as [m], [n], and [ng].

Neurologist
Physician specializing in evaluating and treating disorders of the nervous system.


O-P

Palate
Roof of mouth; partition between oral and nasal cavities.

Phoneme
The smallest unit of speech sounds used to distinguish words.

Phonological Awareness
Understanding of the sound structure of language, including the recognition that words are composed of syllables and phonemes that can be changed and manipulated to create new words and meaning.

Phonology
The speech sound system of a language and the rules for combining them.

Place of articulation
Specifies the location in the vocal tract where the point a constriction occurs when producing a sound.

Plosive
A consonant produced by the complete blockage of airflow, followed by the buildup of air pressure, which is then suddenly released ([b], [p], for example)

Pragmatics
The aspect of speech having to do with rules of social interaction such as turn taking and staying on topic, as well as other socially acceptable interaction rules.

Prognosis
The expected outcome of injury, disease, or disorder if given proper help.

Proprioception
The subconscious awareness of weight, posture, movement, position in space in relationship to the body; based on sensory input from the joints and muscles.

Prosody
Qualities such as intonation, stress, rate, and rhythm, that provide speech with its melodic character.


Q-R

Receptive Language
An individual's ability to understand language


S-T

Semantics
Word meanings, including patterns of associated words and concepts.

Speech-language pathologist
Professionals licensed and educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders, including speech, language, voice and swallowing disorders and other communicative deficits.

Stop
Speech sounds made by complete constriction of the vocal tract; usually followed by an abrupt release of air that produces a noise burst. (such as /d/, /t/, /k/, etc.)

Stress
An increase in pitch, loudness or duration used to give emphasis to a syllable or word.

Suprasegmental
Intonation, stress, and rhythm, superimposed across words and phrases in order to change their meaning.

Syntax
The rules for how to arrange and order words and other elements into correct grammatical forms.


U-V

Velar
relating to the velum, or palate

Velum
Soft palate;  the muscular portion of the roof of the mouth; located to the back of the hard palate; forms the back portion of the roof of the mouth

Vocal Tract
The cavities and structures above the vocal folds that can shape and alter airflow and sound vibration into distinctive speech sounds.

Voiced
Speech sounds produced using the vibrating vocal folds

Voiceless
Speech sounds produced without the vibration of vocal folds