Intraword variability in 2-year-old typically developing Danish-speaking children

Marit Clausen, Pernille Ege Jørgensen, Mia Studsgaard Bøgh, Annette Fox-Boyer

    Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


    Variability, also referred to as token-to-token inconsistency, has been reported to be part of children’s early typical speech development. Reaching consistent word production, however, is an important milestone since variability (inconsistency) in speech is known to be a marker for childhood apraxia of speech or inconsistent phonological disorder (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2007; Dodd, 2014). Reaching a level of <40% of inconsistent speech has been claimed to indicate consistent word production in typically developing children (Holm, Crosbie, & Dodd, 2007). Intraword variability has been investigated in French (Kehoe & Cretton, 2021), Finnish (Martikainen, Savinainen-Makkonen, & Kunnari, 2019), Dutch (Faes & Gillis, 2018), Brazilian Portuguese (de Casto & Wertzner, 2011), German (Schäfer & Fox-Boyer, 2006), and English (e.g. Holm et al., 2007; Sosa, 2015). Studies indicate that children typically are consistent between 2;6-3;0 years but differences in variability rates have also been reported across languages. These differences may be ascribed to differences in the complexity of the phonological systems of the languages. Since the phonological development of Danish-speaking children has been found to be among the fastest across language, the question arises at which age Danish-speaking children are reaching the milestone of consistency in speech.
    The aim of the study was to investigate the variability in word production in Danish-speaking 2-year-old children. The participants were 54 typically developing monolingual Danish-speaking children aged 2;0-2;5 years. The children were assessed with a Danish version of the 25-word-test (Clausen, 2016). Each word had to be named three times in one session. The inconsistency score per child was calculated.
    Results showed that all children showed scores below 40% indicating that consistency of speech was reached at an earlier stage in comparison with other languages. The results and the influence of Danish phonology on this age of acquisition will be discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2022
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    EventInternational Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, United States
    Duration: 6. Apr 20229. Apr 2022


    ConferenceInternational Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech
    LocationUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Country/TerritoryUnited States

    Bibliographical note

    Babatsouli, E. (2022) (Ed.), Book of Abstracts of the International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech (ISMBS) 2022. Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Retrieved at:


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