Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jill F. Nilsen


Phonological analysis is an established, comprehensive, and effective means of assessing the speech patterns of unintelligible children. However, many practicing speech-language pathologists have not incorporated this procedure into their diagnostic batteries and continue to use traditional articulation tests because of convenience and familiarity of the tests (Garber, 1984). If articulation tests could be modified to assess phonological simplification processes, speech-language pathologists may be more likely to use this method of speech analysis. The purpose of this study was to determine if traditional articulation tests employing a phonological analysis procedure are a valid measure of phonological simplification processes.

This study compared results obtained on two traditional articulation tests, the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation (Goldman and Fristoe, 1972) and the Fisher-Logemann Test of Articulation Competence (Fisher and Logemann, 1971), with those obtained on a phonological assessment tool, the Assessment of Phonological Processes (Hodson, 1980). The articulation tests were modified to analyze the phonological simplification processes found on Hodson's test (APP). Twenty-four phonologically delayed children, eight 3-year-olds, eight 4-year-olds, and eight 5-year-olds, served as subjects. Each of the three test instruments was administered to all 24 subjects. Composite Phonological Deviancy Scores were obtained for all tests and compared statistically using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient. Correlations comparing the two articulation tests with the APP were computed for the entire group of subjects, as well as by age groups.

Results revealed high correlations between scores obtained on the Goldman-Fristoe and the APP for all age groups and between scores obtained on the Fisher-Logemann and the APP for all age groups at the .001 level of confidence. This indicates that traditional articulation tests can be used to analyze phonological simplification processes. Additional analysis of the data revealed the following: a) agreement between the tests increased as the subjects' ages increased; and b) agreement between the tests increased when miscellaneous and assimilation process points were excluded. It was also concluded that certain factors should be considered before using a traditional articulation test for phonological analysis: a) child interest; b) administration time; c) number of items on the test and its effect on the Composite Phonological Deviancy Score; and d) adequate representation of each process by the test items. Further research examining the use of articulation tests with phonological analysis procedures and scoring methods other than Hodson's is warranted.