Relationship Between Speech Sound Discrimination Skills and Language Abilities of Kindergarten Children Thirty normal-hearing kindergarten youngsters were administered two speech-sound discrimination (SSD) tests and the revised edition of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA). The primary difference between the two SSD tests was the context of the stimuli. On one test the discriminating sound elements were imbedded in words (Word Test), ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1971
Relationship Between Speech Sound Discrimination Skills and Language Abilities of Kindergarten Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joseph A. Perozzi
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • LuVern H. Kunze
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1971
Relationship Between Speech Sound Discrimination Skills and Language Abilities of Kindergarten Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1971, Vol. 14, 382-390. doi:10.1044/jshr.1402.382
History: Received May 29, 1970
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1971, Vol. 14, 382-390. doi:10.1044/jshr.1402.382
History: Received May 29, 1970

Thirty normal-hearing kindergarten youngsters were administered two speech-sound discrimination (SSD) tests and the revised edition of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA). The primary difference between the two SSD tests was the context of the stimuli. On one test the discriminating sound elements were imbedded in words (Word Test), and on the other test the same sound elements were imbedded in nonsense syllables (Syllable Test).

Pearson-Product correlations between the two SSD tests and each ITPA subtest and the ITPA total score were all positive. One SSD test did not appear to be significantly more or less related to any of the language measures than did the other SSD test. The very high correlation (0.873) between the two SSD tests indicated that the two tests were measuring the same skill. It was suggested that a subject’s performance on any paired-syllable test would predict his performance on a paired-word test that contained the same sound elements. The significant correlations between the SSD tests and two ITPA subtests measuring expressive language skills and the insignificant correlations between the two SSD tests and subtests measuring receptive and associative language skills indicated that the ability to discriminate among speech sounds is more closely related to speaking than to the understanding or association of linguistic expressions. These findings were interpreted as support for the motor theory of speech perception.

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