What is speech?

The verbal component of communication.  Speech is comprised of three components:

  1. Articulation, or how a child produces sounds (i.e., placing the tongue behind teeth to produce the /l/ sound as in “lake” instead of “wake”)
  2. Voice, or the control of air through the vocal folds to produce sound (i.e., hoarse or breathy voice quality)
  3. Fluency, or the rhythm of speech production (i.e., frequent pauses or hesitations impact fluency)

What is language?

The socially shared rules of communication.  Language is composed of the following components:

  1. Phonology, or the sounds we use to create language & the rules that govern the production of those sounds
  2. Vocabulary, or the words we use to convey meaning
  3. Syntax, how we combine words to convey meaning (i.e., “The dog barks” instead of “The barks dog”)
  4. Morphology, or how we use grammatical markers to change meaning (i.e., “barks”, “barking”, and “barked”)
  5. Pragmatics,  or how we use language in different situations with different people (i.e., composing a text message versus a formal letter, or greeting a friend versus a stranger)

Have more questions?

That’s why we are here.  Ask us, take a look at our resources page, or visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website to learn more about speech, language & literacy development and find additional resources.

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