Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 8 August 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Copyright © 2009
M. S. Thirumalai


Phonological Mean Length of Utterance (Pmlu) in
Kannada-Speaking Children

Radish Kumar. B
Jayashree. S. Bhat, Ph.D.


Phonological mean length of utterance (PMLU) is a whole word measure for measuring phonological proficiency. It measures the length of a child's word and the number of correct consonants. The present study investigated the phonological length of utterance in native Kannada speaking children of 3 to 7 years age. A total of 400 subjects in the age range of 3-7 years participated in the study. Spontaneous speech samples were elicited from each child and analyzed for PMLU as per the rules suggested by Ingram. Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal Wallis test were employed to compare the differences between the means of PMLU scores across the gender and the age respectively. The result revealed increase in PMLU score as the age increased suggesting a developmental trend in PMLU acquisition. No statistically significant differences were observed between the means of PMLU scores across the gender.


The field of phonological acquisition has made extensive efforts to measure its development through normative studies (Templin, 1957; Olmstead, 1971) and articulation tests (Hodsen & Paden, 1991). Earlier studies have focused on correctness of consonants as well as the analysis of segments in general. Recent studies have focused on the whole word complexity (Masterson & Kamhi, 1992, Ingram, 2002). One such measure is the Phonological mean length of utterance (PMLU). It is a whole word measure for measuring phonological proficiency (Ingram,2002). It measures the length of a child's words and the number of correct consonants. The PMLU for a speech sample is calculated by: (1) counting the number of segments (consonants and vowels) in each word as produced by the child; (2) counting the number of consonants produced in each word that the child produced accurately; (3) summing these two numbers; (4) totaling these sums; and (5) dividing this total by the total number of words in the sample. PMLU quantifies development of phonology and focuses on the children's whole-word productions instead of specific segments. Ingram demonstrates the value of the PMLU measure by applying it in a wide range of contexts. These include a comparison of monolingual children, a comparison across languages, and the diagnosis of impairment or delay.

Very few studies have addressed the PMLU in different languages. One such study is by Ingram (2002) who proposed preliminary PMLU stages, reflecting the possible level of development in English speaking children which are as follows.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

A Study of Structural Duplication in Tamil and Telugu - A Doctoral Dissertation | Computational Linguistics as a Curriculum for Engineering Students in India | A Discourse Analysis of R. K. Narayan's The Man-eater of Malgudi | Sense of Place and Sense of Dislocation in Amitav Ghosh's The Glass Palace | Teaching English Language Skills for Law - A Malaysian Case Study | Bi/Multilingualism and Issues in Management of Communication Disorders With Emphasis on Indian Perspectives | Role of English as a Tool for Communication in Tamil Society | The Frequency of the Passive in Indian English | Light Verbs in Gojri | The Core Functions of the English Modals - Speech Act Approach | Phonological Mean Length of Utterance (Pmlu) in Kannada-Speaking Children | Tolkaappiyam - Kaviraajamaarga - A Brief Note of Comparison | A Review of A Quick Guide to Postgraduate Supervision | Procedure to Develop Competency Based Self-Learning Materials | HOME PAGE of August 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Radish Kumar. B
Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology
KMC, Mangalore
Mangalore - 1
Karnataka, India

Jayashree. S. Bhat, Ph.D.
Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology
KMC, Mangalore
Mangalore - 1
Karnataka, India

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