Normal Acquisition of Consonant Clusters Children’s acquisition of adult-like speech production has fascinated speech-language pathologists for over a century, and data gained from associated research have informed every aspect of speech-language pathology practice. The acquisition of the consonant cluster has received little attention during this time, even though the consonant cluster is a common feature ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   May 01, 2001
Normal Acquisition of Consonant Clusters
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharynne McLeod
    The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Jan van Doorn
    The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Vicki A. Reed
    The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Contact author: Sharynne McLeod, PhD, School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, P.O. Box 789, Albury 2640, Australia. E-mail: smcleod@csu.edu.au
  • * Currently affiliated with School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Australia
    Currently affiliated with School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Australia×
Article Information
Tutorials
Tutorial   |   May 01, 2001
Normal Acquisition of Consonant Clusters
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2001, Vol. 10, 99-110. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/011)
History: Received June 16, 2000 , Accepted January 30, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2001, Vol. 10, 99-110. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/011)
History: Received June 16, 2000; Accepted January 30, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 41

Children’s acquisition of adult-like speech production has fascinated speech-language pathologists for over a century, and data gained from associated research have informed every aspect of speech-language pathology practice. The acquisition of the consonant cluster has received little attention during this time, even though the consonant cluster is a common feature of speech, its acquisition is one of the most protracted of all aspects of children’s speech development, and the production of consonant clusters is one of the most common difficulties for children with speech impairment. This paper reviews the literature from the past 70 years to describe children’s normal acquisition of consonant clusters. Articulatory, phonological, linguistic, and acoustic approaches to the development of consonant clusters are reviewed. Data from English are supplemented with examples from other languages. Consideration of the information on consonant cluster development revealed 10 aspects of normal development that can be used in speech-language pathologists’ assessment and analysis of children’s speech.

Acknowledgments
This paper presents a portion of work from a doctoral dissertation conducted by the first author at The University of Sydney. The research was supported by grants from The University of Sydney Research Awards and the Charles Sturt University PhD Write-up Award Scheme.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access