New School Phonology: The ASHA Position

June, 2014

ASHA is preparing a document on “speech sound disorders” used as a ‘UMBRELLA TERM” referring to deficits of phonotactics, phonological representations, prosody and motor performance impacting speech sounds and speaker intelligibility. It is a “policy document” presenting guidelines for practice in all settings.

We look forward to hearing more about the project.

You can see our earlier posts on the subject, where we emphasize integration of phonological and language systems for cognitive-linguistic processing.

John M. Panagos



An ASHA policy statement on phonology should meet several requirements to validate it for graduate education, accreditation and clinical practice. The ASHA Board of Directors will complete the listed requirements.

1. The policy should be evidence-based and consistent with theory and research.

2. The authors should be listed and the document should appear in a logical location on the ASHA website.

3. The policy should build upon past ASHA policy documents.

4. Terminology (nomenclature) should be internally defined and used consistently.

5. Comments from practicing SLPs should be gathered and reported in the ASHA Leader.

6. Policy content should be incorporated into the Scope of Practice Document.

7. The policy statement should be INTEGRATIVE eliminating duplicate and confusing terms.

8.Sample case study material should be included to illustrate best practice.

9.The policy should be mailed to each program director of the country’s academic programs.

10.The Chairperson and The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) should sign off on the document and incorporate it into accreditation standards.


The accreditation “standard” for articulation and phonology demanded by CAA is virtually no standard at all. Each word is merely listed and that’s all. Imagine the American Medical Association stating in a single word that “surgery” is a training requirement for doctors.

July 7, 2014

ASHA has used a FACEBOOK post to direct attention to the clinical summary of this new content:

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