Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 455–474

Oral and Hand Movement Speeds are Associated with Expressive Language Ability in Children with Speech Sound Disorder


DOI: 10.1007/s10936-012-9199-1

Cite this article as:
Peter, B. J Psycholinguist Res (2012) 41: 455. doi:10.1007/s10936-012-9199-1


This study tested the hypothesis that children with speech sound disorder have generalized slowed motor speeds. It evaluated associations among oral and hand motor speeds and measures of speech (articulation and phonology) and language (receptive vocabulary, sentence comprehension, sentence imitation), in 11 children with moderate to severe SSD and 11 controls. Syllable durations from a syllable repetition task served as an estimate of maximal oral movement speed. In two imitation tasks, nonwords and clapped rhythms, unstressed vowel durations and quarter-note clap intervals served as estimates of oral and hand movement speed, respectively. Syllable durations were significantly correlated with vowel durations and hand clap intervals. Sentence imitation was correlated with all three timed movement measures. Clustering on syllable repetition durations produced three clusters that also differed in sentence imitation scores. Results are consistent with limited movement speeds across motor systems and SSD subtypes defined by motor speeds as a corollary of expressive language abilities.


Speech sound disorder Motor speed Central rate limit Language impairment 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech and Hearing SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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