Robert H. English

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

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



Physical Description

1 online resource (129 p.)


Children -- Language, Phonemics




Research regarding children's instrumental articulation development has provided the speech clinician with schedules of speech sound development. These developmental tables list ages when specific phonemes are mastered by normal children. Such schedules tend to give the impression that certain sounds must be developed before others can occur. Menyuk (1972) has expressed a similar point of view regarding phonemes /t/ and /k/. She has hypothesized:

  1. that phoneme /t/ must develop before phoneme /k/; and
  2. that sound element initial /t/ is mastered at an earlier age than initial /k/. The present investigation was designed to operationally test the validity of Menyuk's observations.

The primary purpose of this study was to determine the ages at which phonemes /t/ and /k/ are mastered by normally developing children, thereby obtaining the order in which these phonemes are learned. A secondary purpose was to present an alternative to the concept of mastery of speech sounds by determining the ages at which children acquire phonemes /t/ and /k/. Four specific questions were posed by this study:

  1. Is phoneme /t/ mastered before phoneme /k/?
  2. Is sound element initial [t} mastered before initial [k]?
  3. What is the order of mastery of the remaining two sound elements of each phoneme?
  4. What is the order of acquisition of the two phonemes?

Persistent Identifier