What is speech?
The verbal component of communication. Speech is comprised of three components:
- 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”)
- Voice, or the control of air through the vocal folds to produce sound (i.e., hoarse or breathy voice quality)
- 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:
- Phonology, or the sounds we use to create language & the rules that govern the production of those sounds
- Vocabulary, or the words we use to convey meaning
- Syntax, how we combine words to convey meaning (i.e., “The dog barks” instead of “The barks dog”)
- Morphology, or how we use grammatical markers to change meaning (i.e., “barks”, “barking”, and “barked”)
- 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.