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Images for Specific Speech Sounds

This first video is intended to help orient you to the images. Mid-sagittal views provide front-to back visualization of the tongue. This is the most common view.  In the images below, the tongue tip is on the right side of the image. 


Each speech sound differs in its primary tongue configurations.  The clinician is cautioned that no two speakers will produce a tongue configuration that is identical, so there are many acceptable variations of the target sound (especially liquids /r, l/).  For example, there are significant differences in the images obtained for “bunched” vs. “retroflex” /r/ (and there are variants that may not be easily classified as either “bunched” or “retroflex” that still sound clear).

Thus, it is important to understand the range of acceptable tongue shapes that all result in an acoustically-acceptable production of a target sound. The goal is to elicit a production that sounds clear.

Alveolar Place of Articulation

The probe needs to be angled toward the front of the tongue to get a clear image of tongue tip/blade elevation. We can see the tongue “wag” up and down if we have the client slowly produce /t, d, n/.

alveolar place of articulation

This video shows a clinician using ultrasound to cue /d/ with a sagittal view. The client typically produces a mid-dorsal palatal stop. Cueing focuses on keeping the tongue dorsum down while raising only the tongue tip.

Velars /k, g, ŋ/
Tongue dorsum elevates but tip/blade remains down.

Tongue dorsum

This video shows a clinician using ultrasound to cue /kl/ sequences with a sagittal view.  


Sagittal views of correct /r/


Sagittal view

Dorsum tip
dorsum bottom

Coronal views of correct /r/ include elevations of the lateral margins of the tongue that looks like a “V” shape.  Some individuals with distorted /r/ do not have this elevation but will instead have a flat tongue shape.

Elevatioin lateral margins

This video shows the clinician encouraging a retroflex /r/, while encouraging the client to self-cue and identify the tongue tip raising.  

This video shows how the clinician uses ultrasound to cue /r/ with a coronal view.

A pharyngeal constriction is typically present in correct productions of /r/. This involves the tongue root retracting into the pharynx (throat).  Individuals with distorted productions of /r/ often lack this pharyngeal constriction.   

Coronal fricatives with central grooving (s, z, ʃ, ʒ)

In a clear production of /s/ using a coronal view we can see a groove in the center of the tongue. Notice the dip in the center (central groove) and the elevation of the lateral margins of the tongue. Lateralized distortions often lack the central groove.

production of /s/

This video shows how the clinician uses ultrasound to cue /s/ in a client with a lateralized distortion. The first several productions demonstrate the client’s error (lacking a central groove and lacking the elevation of the lateral margins of the tongue).  After repeated cueing, the client begins to achieve the desired tongue shape.





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