1. Velleman, Shelley L. PhD
  2. Pearson, Barbara Zurer PhD


B. Z. Pearson, S. L. Velleman, T. J. Bryant, and T. Charko (2009) demonstrated phonological differences in typically developing children learning African American English as their first dialect vs. General American English only. Extending this research to children with speech sound disorders (SSD) has key implications for intervention. A total of 148 children (4-12 years) with SSD, 72 learning only general American English and 76 learning African American English first, took the Dialect Sensitive Language Test (DSLT; H. Seymour, T. Roeper, & J. G. de Villiers, 2000) phonology subtest. Mismatches to target forms were categorized as phonotactic vs. segmental. The scores of the children with SSD were below Dialect Sensitive Language Test norms; overall dialect differences in mismatch frequency were not identified. However, individual consonants were mastered in different orders by dialect, even among children with SSD. Phonotactic vs. segmental dialect differences were emergent but nonsignificant at age 6 years. Intervention targets should be chosen per dialect-specific segmental orders of acquisition and phonotactic priorities.