Phonetic repertoire and syllable characteristics of 15-month-old babies with cleft palate

Marlene B. Salas-Provance, David P. Kuehn, Jeffrey L. Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the vocalizations of four 15-month-old babies with repaired cleft palate and four without cleft palate. They were audiotaped at home during play interaction with a parent. In general, the babies with cleft palate exhibited a smaller phonetic repertoire, a limited number of compensatory articulations and more isolated vowel productions. As syllable complexity increased, both groups produced similar numbers of syllable structures. However, the syllables produced by the babies with cleft palate had less phonetic diversity than those of the babies without cleft palate. Babies with cleft palate who produce fewer compensatory articulations were similar to the babies without cleft palate in the number of canonical syllables per utterance. Babies with cleft palate may show a less mature phonetic system that may impact the phonetic diversity of their syllable productions. The smaller number of syllable combinations may place these children at risk for expressive language delay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Babbling
  • Canonical syllable
  • Cleft palate
  • Phonetic repertoire
  • Vocalizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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