Articulation is (1) the juncture between bones or cartilages in the skeleton of a vertebrate and (2) the movement pattern and relationship of oral structures such as the tongue and lips, to produce the sounds of speech. Speech sound articulation develops gradually and consistently across children of all cultures, and the earliest sounds made by infants are undifferentiated. As a child matures and motor control becomes increasingly well-coordinated, the child’s speech becomes intelligible within the linguistic community.
Speech sound articulation is evaluated through tests of single sounds and words, and in contexts such as oral reading and conversation. Speech sound articulation disorders can disrupt speech intelligibility temporarily or for extended periods of time.