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Speech Sounds, Articulation of

During the first 5 to 6 years of life, children develop the ability to produce most of the consonants and vowels of their ambient language within words, sentences, and conversation. Children also learn to articulate speech sounds within the confines of the phonotactics of their ambient language, that is, the rules that govern the combinations of speech sounds. Most languages require children to master the production of consonants in different syllable and word positions (i.e., word initial, within word, and word final), in consonant clusters (i.e., two or more consonants produced together at the beginning and end of the word, such as in the word plant), and in polysyllabic words (i.e., words of two or more syllables such as hippopotamus). For some languages, the development ...

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