Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Pamela Garn-NunnEmail author
  • Carolyn Sotto
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_912


Phonology is a branch of linguistics. It is the study of the rules for combining phonemes (speech sounds) to create meaning. Phonology is also defined as the study of phonemes (or sounds) used in a language and the linguistic rules that specify how the phonemes are organized and put together into syllables, words, and sentences to create meaning. For example, in English, there are no lip-rounded vowels produced with the front of the tongue, no more than three consonants can begin a syllable, for example, str is permissible but stdr is not.

Children must learn the phonemes and phonological rules of their language to communicate adequately. Failure to master the phonology of a language (an articulatory or phonological disorder) can result in unintelligible speech and difficulty in learning to read.



  1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2007). Scope of practice in speech-language-pathology. (Scope of practice). Available from www.asha.org/policy.
  2. Bernthal, J., Bankson, N. W., & Flipsen, P., Jr. (2017). Articulation and phonological disorders. New York: Pearson Higher Education.Google Scholar

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA