Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 5 May 2011
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.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.





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Comparison of PMLU in Kannada speaking -
Down's syndrome and Typically Developing Children

Archana .G. MASLP, Sunila John, MASLP
Veena K. D. Ph.D, Supriya Mohite, BASLP Candidate and
B. Rajashekhar, Ph.D.


Phonological Mean Length of Utterance, (PMLU) is a whole word measure for determining phonological proficiency and is one of the new tools for quantifying development of word forms in both normal and clinical population. Even though PMLU measures phonological proficiency, its utility in clinical populations like Down's syndrome is not clearly understood. Since there is a scarcity of information on PMLU measures, the present study focuses on comparing PMLU scores in Kannada speaking Down's syndrome and language age matched normal children.

Two groups of Kannada speaking children were included in the study: Group1 composed of normal children (n = 60 and chronological age of 3-4 years) matching the language age of group 2. Group 2 comprised of children with Down's syndrome (n = 35 and chronological age of 6-15 years) with mild to moderate mental retardation and expressive language age of 3-4 years. Picture naming task using Kannada Articulation test was done and 25 words were randomly selected for PMLU analysis. Samples were recorded using digital professional voice recorder and the children's utterances were calculated for PMLU measures.

Obtained scores were analysed using SPSS 16.0 version by Independent t- test with p value kept at 0.05. The results revealed statistically significant difference in PMLU scores between Down's syndrome population and typically developing children. These reduced scores are indicative of poor whole word complexity in children with Down's syndrome. Findings of the study indicate that PMLU measure could be a benchmark in assessing the phonological skills in disordered population.

Keywords: Phonology, PMLU, Down's syndrome


The evaluation of children's phonological skills has been an area of interest for both researchers and clinicians. The area of understanding the phonological development has now shifted from describing sound inventory to detailed analysis of children's production in terms of phonological processes, error patterns.

According to Stoel-Gammon and Stone, 1991 (cited in Saaristo-Helin, 2009) a thorough phonological assessment of young children always makes use of both independent and relational analyses, since it is well known that substantial variation is present in their productions. Phonological skills can be analyzed by using both qualitative and quantitative measures. However, in clinical practice, a simple and practical method is being sought as a reliable assessment tool of a child's phonological skills. So far, the methods of analyzing children's early phonological skills have made extensive use of formal articulation tests, and the focus has been on segments and measures of correctness. Only, recently researchers have begun to believe that word is the basic unit of analysis (Ingram & Ingram, 2001) and focussed on the whole word correctness during a single production of a given word (Bankson & Bernthal, 1990).

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

Archana G., MASLP (Corresponding Author)
Lecturer, Department of Speech and Hearing
Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University
Karnataka, India

Sunila John, MASLP
Assistant Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing
Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University
Karnataka, India

Veena K. D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing
Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University
Karnataka, India

Supriya Mohite, BASLP Candidate
Department of Speech and Hearing, Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences
Manipal University
Karnataka, India

B Rajashekhar, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing
Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University
Manipal, Karnataka, India

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