Phonemic discrimination and the relationship with other linguistic levels in children with typical phonological development and phonological disorder

Carolina Ramos de Freitas Carolina Lisbôa Mezzomo Deisi Cristina Gollo Marques Vidor About the authors


To compare children with typical language development (TLD) and evolutional phonological disorder (EPD) regarding the phonemic discrimination and the linguistic performance of language levels (morphological, syntactic, semantic, and perceptual and productive vocabulary).


The sample comprised 36 children, aged between 5 years and 7 years and 11 months, with TLD and EPD. Children with EPD were awaiting care in the speech units of two higher education institutions and children with TLD were screened in public schools. For inclusion in the study, the criteria were the following: being authorized by the informed consent and being within the required age group. After the inclusion of children, all subjects underwent the phonemic discrimination test with figures, to the average phrase value test, which assesses the morphosyntactic and semantic/lexical aspects, and the expressive vocabulary test. For statistical evaluation of the influence of variables, Spearman's nonparametric correlation coefficient was used, and for comparison between the groups regarding evaluation performance, Mann-Whitney test was used.


Only children with EPD showed influence of phonemic discrimination in other linguistic levels. In addition, a significant difference was observed between the performances of both groups in relation to the phonemic discrimination, vocabulary, and all levels assessed in the questions and description modality.


The comparison between both groups showed a statistically significant difference in phonemic discrimination and morphosyntactic and lexical/semantic development, with better performance in the TLD group.

Speech Disorders; Speech-Language Pathology; Child Language; Child

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