Clicks produced as compensatory articulations in two adolescents with velocardiofacial syndrome

Fiona Gibbon*, Alice Lee, Ivan Yuen, Lisa Crampin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To report perceptual and dynamic articulatory electropalatography data on clicks produced as compensatory articulations by two adolescents (S1 and S2) with velocardiofacial syndrome and velopharyngeal dysfunction. Results: The perceptual analysis showed that both speakers produced click substitutions for English targets /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, and S2 additionally produced clicks for /p/, /b/, and /tsh/, /d3/. The adolescents produced a range of clicks, which varied in placement (bilabial, dental, alveolar, palatal), voicing (voiced, voiceless), and nasality (nasal, nonnasal). Measurements from the electropalatography data for lingual clicks revealed two articulatory closures, one in the anterior and another in the posterior region of the hard palate. The data revealed how the two closures were timed precisely to produce the click sound. The clicks involved a complex and highly coordinated sequence of tongue maneuvers similar to clicks in some southern African languages. Conclusions: Clicks are interpreted as compensatory articulations enabling some speakers with velopharyngeal dysfunction to produce plosive and affricate sounds with perceptually salient acoustic bursts in the oral cavity. Clicks as compensatory articulations merit further systematic investigation, and the procedures reported in this study are considered appropriate for such research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-392
Number of pages12
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Articulation disorder
  • Clicks
  • Compensatory articulation
  • Electro-palatography (EPG)
  • Velocardiofacial syndrome


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