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Two Phonemic Inventory Worksheets are now available. One is organized by rows and the other by columns. Each includes room for SLP to record the child's production by vowels. These documents provide a structure for identifying minimal pairs. This should greatly facilitate the task of identifying the child's phonemic inventory. Please remember that a large sample is necessary for identifying both phonetic and phonemic inventories. This allows SLPs to identify ideal target sounds. There must be two occurrences of a sound functioning as a phoneme for it to be part of the phonemic inventory.
To expedite the process, the following sequence is recommended.
Identifying Phonemic Inventory:
1. Highlight all monosyllabic words (These words are more likely to differ than other productions by one sound.)
2. Highlight all productions that may be marked by gliding. For example, if a child says [tɛoʊ] for “chair,” it is possible that he/she might say [wɛoʊ] for “square.” Thus, this would be one occurrence of /t/ and /w/ as phonemes.
3. Copy all of the highlighted words onto the Phonemic Inventory Worksheet according to the vowel. For instance, the production [wɛg] would be written in the section for [ɛ].
4. Identify which sounds function as phonemes in the child’s inventory. If a child said [wɛs] and [jɛs], one occurrence of /w/ and /j/ as phonemes is recorded. Likewise, if a child said [wʌk] and [wʌg], one occurrence of /k/ and /g/ as phonemes is recorded.
5. Occasionally, SLPs identify one occurrence of a sound acting as a phoneme, but not two. In those cases, it is advisable to scan the probe results for multisyllabic words that might include such contrasts. For example, a child might say [wætɪŋ] for “scratching” and [wætsɪŋ] for “crashing.” This provides evidence that /t/ and /ts/ function as phonemes in this example.