Case Study Optimality Theory and the Assessment and Treatment of Phonological Disorders Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   October 01, 2001
Case Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica A. Barlow
    San Diego State University, CA
  • Contact author: Jessica A. Barlow, Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-1518.
    Contact author: Jessica A. Barlow, Department of Communicative Disorders, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-1518.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: jbarlow@mail.sdsu.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Clinical Forum: Advances in Phonological Theory and Treatment
Clinical Forum   |   October 01, 2001
Case Study
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2001, Vol. 32, 242-256. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2001/022)
History: Received January 8, 2001 , Accepted June 26, 2001
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2001, Vol. 32, 242-256. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2001/022)
History: Received January 8, 2001; Accepted June 26, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Recently, the development of the constraint-based framework of optimality theory has been adopted and applied to the assessment and treatment of children with phonological disorders. This paper provides a demonstration of the application of optimality theory to the assessment and treatment of a single child with a phonological disorder. First, a tutorial of the theory is provided. Then, several prototypical error patterns evident in the child's productions are analyzed within the framework. These errors are accounted for by assuming that constraints against marked structure are ranked over constraints that require faithfulness to input forms within the child’s grammar. Following that, a demonstration of how optimality theory accounts for different types of variation in the child’s productions is provided. These different types of variation are revealing of the true nature of certain error patterns, particularly an apparent pattern of cluster reduction. Finally, the results of the analysis lead to suggestions for treatment that focus on the demotion of markedness constraints below faithfulness constraints.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
A version of this paper was presented at the 2000 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Washington, DC. I would like to thank Dan Dinnsen, Kathleen O’Connor, H. Diane Morris, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
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