bp's science: speech sounds (v.1)

I talked with a friend of mine the other day, she is studying speech pathology and shared a bit of interesting info with me.

The R sound is one of the hardest sounds for a person to learn. 90% of kids have learned the sound by the age of 8.
The L sound is another. 90% of kids have learned the sound by the age of 7.
The TH sound is difficult too, as is the J sound. (I didn't ask about X, but I'm curious).

The M and N sounds are easier. As are B, C, D and all of the other sounds Oliver is using like crazy right now. Lately, he's fond of saying, "Jess, what doin?"


Jess said...

Learning Korean, I also found the Korean equivalent of the "R" and "L" sounds to be the most difficult to get right. German seems similar with its "R" whose pronunciation is akin to hocking a loogie and Spanish with its rolling "R" which requires the tongue to play the contortionist to get the sound just so.

jo said...

This is fascinating. I definitely have an interest in this.

Ok, so my questions (you may have to do a "Speech Sounds: Part 2") What about the F sound? In my experience that's a lot like the TH sound. And does this in any way relate to one's music affinity? Perfect pitch and the like? Have they found any correlation between the music affinity and speech?

ash said...

Jo, about the F sound, I know that O has that sound down already. I think the F sound is definitely easier than the TH sound and thus, O replaces TH with F when saying MOUF. I shall ask about the F sound.

And about music, I heard about a study once that found that people who speak tonal languages (think Mandarin) have better pitch than others who do not speak a tonal language. However, does this mean that they are good at music or have a great music affinity? Does better pitch equal good at music?Excellent question!