What is a speech disorder?
A speech disorder is a problem with fluency, voice, and/or how a person says speech sounds.
- Fluency disorder - an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech characterized by hesitations, repetitions, or prolongations of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases.
- Articulation disorder - difficulties with the way sounds are formed and strung together, usually characterized by substituting one sound for another (wabbit for rabbit), omitting a sound (han for hand), and distorting a sound (ship for sip).
- Voice disorder - characterized by inappropriate pitch (too high, too low, never changing, or interrupted by breaks); quality (harsh, hoarse, breathy, or nasal); loudness, resonance, and duration.
What is a language disorder?
A language disorder is a problem with understanding and/or using spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems (e.g., gestures, sign language). The disorder may involve 1) the form of language (phonology, morphology, syntax), 2) the content of the language (semantics), and/or the function of language in communication (pragmatics) in any combination.
1. Form of Language
- Phonology is the sound system of a language and the rules about how sounds are combined.
- Morphology is the structure of words and how word forms are constructed.
- Syntax is the order and combination of words to form sentences.
2. Content of Language
- Semantics is related to the meanings of words and sentences.
3. Function of Language
- Pragmatics is the combination of language components (phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics) in functional and socially appropriate ways.
Language disorders may include:
- Impaired language development - characterized by a marked slowness or gaps in the development of language skills.
- Aphasia - the loss of acquired language abilities, generally resulting from stroke or brain injury.