Protocol - Phonological Inventory

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The “Sounds-in-Words” and “Sounds-in-Sentences” sections of the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3), are interviewer-administered tests that measure the respondent's articulation of all-consonant and some vowel sounds of Standard American English. The interviewer shows pictures and provides verbal cues to elicit answers from the respondent that demonstrate the articulation of speech sounds.

Specific Instructions

The “Sounds-in-Words” and “Sounds-in-Sentences” sections are proprietary subtests of the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3). Each subtest of the GFTA-3 is a part of the complete test and is not sold separately. For this assessment to be considered valid, the investigator should make sure that the respondent speaks English as a first language. Examiners should take care to take regional and cultural differences in the pronunciations of words into account and not unnecessarily mark these different pronunciations as errors.


Limited Availability


Summary of the “Sounds-in-Words” Section of the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3)

The “Sounds-in-Words” section of the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3), uses pictures to elicit articulation of single words when the respondent is prompted by a visual and/or verbal cue. The “Sounds-in-Sentences” section is a sentence imitation task based on one story for younger children (ages 4:0 through 6:11) and a different one for ages 7:0 through 21:11. All consonants and the “r-colored” vowels are tested for accuracy, as quantified with a standard score. Other vowel errors can be observed but do not count toward the standard score.

Scoring Instructions: For both subtests (“Sounds-in-Words,” “Sounds-in-Sentences”), a phoneme inventory is constructed. The phoneme tables contain fields for word-initial, word-medial, and word-final positions. Separately for each subtest, the raw number of sounds in error is converted into a standard score and percentile. Norms are available separately for males and females.

Note that this test is designed to measure articulation accuracy of consonants and the r-colored vowels. It does not adequately characterize signs of motor speech disorders such as apraxia of speech or dysarthria. If concerns regarding motor speech disorders arise after obtaining a low GFTA-3 score, follow-up testing can be done using a motor speech exam or specially developed standardized tests. When administering the GFTA-3, some hints of motor speech disorders can be observed and used toward follow-up testing. Indicators for dysarthria are the following speech sound errors: pronouncing a “t” or “d” sound more like “n” and a “p” or “b” sound more like “m.” This shows weakness or stiffness in the articulatory muscles, as the person is not able to build enough air pressure inside the mouth to produce the popping sound. Indicators for apraxia of speech include lots of vowel errors, inconsistent productions of the same word, a consonant inventory that is far too small given the person’s age, and consonant deletions or saying the “h” sound instead of a consonant.

Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3). Copyright © 2015 NCS Pearson, Inc. All rights reserved.

“GFTA” is a trademark, in the United States and/or other countries, of Pearson Education, Inc., or its affiliate(s).

Personnel and Training Required

The Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3), can be administered by a trained research technician. Examiners should have training in phonetics and transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet. The general qualification level B is described in more detail here: https://www.pearsonclinical.com/language/qualifications.html. Examiners should have formal training in the ethical administration, scoring, and interpretation of clinical assessments. Additionally, investigators are encouraged to have quality control procedures in place to maintain consistency across examiners.

Equipment Needs

The interviewer will need the picture plates, a copy of the response form, and the instruction manual and scoring instructions.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Interviewer-administered questionnaire


Child, Adolescent, Adult


Children, adolescents, and adults, ages 2–21 years

Selection Rationale

The “Sounds-in-Words” section of the Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3), was selected because it is the most widely used protocol to assess Phonemic Inventory. It is reliable and validated and includes normative data to assist scoring.


Chinese, English

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Phonemic inventory proto 62992-3 LOINC
Human Phenotype Ontology Speech articulation difficulties HP:0009088 HPO
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #7 (ERP 7) reviewed the measures in the Speech and Hearing domain.

Guidance from ERP 7 includes the following:

  • Changed the name of the measure

Protocol Name from Source

Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation™, Third Edition (GFTA™-3)


Goldman, R., & Fristoe, M. (2015). Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3). San Antonio, TX: Pearson Assessments.

The Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition (GFTA™-3), is a proprietary instrument and can be obtained through:

Telephone: 800.627.7271
E-mail: https://www.pearsonclinical.com/contact.html

General References

Rice, M. L., Smith, S. D., & Gayan, J. (2009). Convergent genetic linkage and associations to language, speech and reading measures in families of probands with Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 1, 264–282.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX200701000000 Protocol 200701 - proprietary. Check DCW for more
contact. show less
Speech, Language and Hearing
Measure Name

Phonological Inventory

Release Date

October 8, 2010


This measure assesses an individual's articulation of consonant and vowel sounds.


This test measures an individual's ability to accurately produce speech sounds and identifies specific types of misarticulation.


Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation, Third Edition; GFTA-3; language; speech and hearing

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
200701 Phonological Inventory

Rice, M.L. & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2016) Language Phenotypes. In V. Jagaroo and S.L. Santangelo (eds.) Neurophenotypes, Innovations in Cognitive Neuroscience. Springer. 2016 January; doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-3846-5_12