Abstract: Children with Phonological Impairment (PhI) have highly inaccurate speech production in the absence of a condition that would otherwise cause them to do so. This paper reports a meta-analysis of three experiments designed to examine the locus of PhI in children. In Experiment 1, children with PhI were not found to have slower speed of lexical access than children with typical phonological development (TD). In Experiment 2, children with PhI were not found to have less-efficient phonological encoding processes than children with TD. In Experiment 3, children with PhI were found to have a reduced ability to learn perceptual representations for novel words than children with TD. Together, these results suggest that PhI is associated with deficits in the ability to learn perceptual representations for words. Interpreted in light of current models of speech production (Guenther, 1995), these results suggest that the habitually inaccurate speech production by children with PhI might be the consequence of less robustly specified perceptual targets for speech production
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