Table 4 - Phonetic Development

Cite this article as:
Bowen, C. (2011). Table 4: Phonetic Development. Retrieved from on [insert the date that you retrieved the file here].

In Table 4 is an account of ages by which 75% of the children in a study pronounced individual consonants accurately. These norms were established for a population of Australian children by Kilminster and Laird (1978). 

In column 3,  the term 'voiced' refers to the vibration of the vocal cords while the sound is being made. The term 'voiceless' is applied to sounds that are made without vocal cord vibration. The terms fricative, glide, stop, nasal, liquid and affricate refer to the way the sounds are made, or the "manner of articulation".

Table 4
Phonetic Development

Age by which 75% of
children used the speech
sound listed accurately.
Speech sounds The manner in which the
speech sounds are produced.

3 years

h as in he

zh as in measure

y as in yes  

w as in we

ng as in sing

m as in me

n as in no

p as in up

k as in car

t  as in to

b as in be

g as in go

d as in do

Voiceless fricative

Voiced fricative

Voiced glide

Voiced glide

Voiced nasal

Voiced nasal

Voiced nasal

Voiceless stop

Voiceless stop

Voiceless stop

Voiced stop

Voiced stop

Voiced stop

3 years 6 months

f as in if

Voiceless fricative

4 years

l as in lay

sh as in she

ch as in chew

Voiced liquid

Voiceless fricative

Voiceless affricate

4 years 6 months

j as in jaw

s as in so

z as in is

Voiced affricate

Voiceless fricative

Voiced fricative

5 years

r as in red

Voiced liquid

6 years

v as in Vegemite

Voiced fricative

8 years

th as in this

Voiced fricative

8 years 6 months

th as in thing

Voiceless fricative




Bowen, C. (1998). Developmental phonological disorders. A practical guide for families and teachers. Melbourne: ACER Press.

Grunwell, P. (1997). Natural phonology. In M. Ball & R. Kent (Eds.), The new phonologies: Developments in clinical linguistics. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.

Kilminster, M.G.E., & Laird, E.M. (1978) Articulation development in children aged three to nine years. Australian Journal of Human Communication Disorders, 6, 1, 23-30.

See also

Table 1 Intelligibility

Table 2 Phonological Processes

Table 3 Elimination of Phonological Processes

Inconsistency in Child Phonology

Speech and Language Development Index

Two "Open Access" (free) articles about consonant acquisition

Children's English Consonant Acquisition in the United States: A Review (Crowe & McLeod, 2020)

Children's Consonant Acquisition in 27 Languages: A Cross-Linguistic Review (McLeod & Crowe, 2018)

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