Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech: Emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology






English language -- Phonetics, Children -- Language



Physical Description

1 online resource (64 p.)


In articulation treatment and diagnosis, it is essential to possess a thorough knowledge of what is “normal” as well as what is “defective” articulation. The /r/ phoneme is one of the most frequently occurring and most commonly defective sounds. There are two different tongue positions for the /r/ phoneme described in the literature (retroflex and central hump), with many assumptions about which tongue position is “normal” or “most common.” None of these assumptions, however, are based on empirical data.

The purpose of this study was to provide some normative data regarding which of the two tongue positions is most common in children who have learned to produce the /r/ phoneme normally with no clinical assistance. Six research questions were posed: (1) Do children produce the /r/ phoneme more commonly with retroflex or central hump tongue position? (2) Are there sex-related differences? (3) Are there differences in tongue position when the /r/ is used as a consonant or vowel? (4) Are there differences in tongue position when the vocalic \r\ is stressed or un-stressed? (5) Are there differences in tongue position relating to the position of the /r/ phoneme within a syllable? (6) Does phonetic context affect the tongue position of the /r/ phoneme?


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Speech with emphasis in Speech Pathology/Audiology

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