Voice Place Manner Chart

The voice place manner chart is nothing new to speech therapy but its use in treatment planning, goal writing, and therapy techniques is making a comeback.

Learn why you must use this chart during speech therapy/articulation treatment and see how I "updated" it for easy referencing. 

Voice Place Manner Chart Overview

Before we jump into uses and updates, let's review what is the voice place manner chart!

This chart organizes all the consonants and glides in the English language depending on (you guessed it) by voice, place and manner.


  • Voice refers to "voicing."
  • The chart indicates whether a sound has voicing or not


  • Place refers to where in the mouth a sound is produced
  • For example, some sounds are produced in the back of the mouth (/k/, /g/, /ŋ/) so they are grouped together as velars.


  • Manner refers to how sounds are produced
  • For example, certain sounds such as stops (/b/, /p/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/) are produced by stopping all airflow and then "exploding" airflow upon production.

For review for those who need it:

  • *labial - indicates lips
  • *coronal - indicates front/mid tongue
  • dorsal - back of tongue
  • obstruent - airflow is restricted someway
  • sonorant - airflow is not restricted (vowels, nasals, liquids, glides)

Treatment Planning and Techniques

The voice place manner chart gives us invaluable, "big picture" information which isn't necessarily obvious.

After an evaluation, I fill out my google drive version of the voice place manner chart (I like to save paper and stay organized) for each of my clients using a color coded system.  See below.

As you can see, I keep it simple. I recorded the errors in red and leave the others blank if the child has a correct production. In the image above, the child doesn't haven't any affricates and very few fricatives. 

Once I compile this information, I can use it in a few ways:

  • Track progress
  • Discuss results with parents
  • Use for treatment planning/goal selection

Treatment Planning/Goal Writing

Different therapy strategies utilize the PVM chart when writing goals and selecting target materials. 

Contrastive approaches 

  • Maximal Oppositions - Uses pairs of words that differ by one sound (similar to minimal pairs). However, one sound is a sound the child can say and the other sound is maximally different (place, voice, manner). (Gierut, 1989, 1990, 1992). I use the chart to find sounds that are maximally different!
  • Empty Set - Uses pairs of words that differ by one sound (similar to minimal pairs). However, both sounds are not in a child's phonological system and they are maximally different maximally different (place, voice, manner). 
  • Multiple Oppositions - Multiple oppositions is similar to maximal oppositions but the SLP creates pairs of words with a sound the child has and 3 other sounds that are maximally different (place voice manner). (Williams, 2000a, 2000b)

Complexity approach

The complexity approach (Gierut, 2007; Storkel 2018) states that you should target more complex sounds not in the child's phonological system and progress made will generalize. After filling out the place voice manner chart, you can easily see which sounds the child doesn't have and then chose sounds that are more complex. The image above is a chart I designed that easily illustrates the range of complexity. 

Updated Place Voice Manner Charts

I am busy! I needed place voice manner charts that were easy to read when deciding on therapy strategies and writing goals. So....I created charts that made sense to me! 

On the Speech Therapy Talk's Membership site, I added 6 different place voice manner charts in various formats so everyone has the one that makes the most sense to them. I also made them in print and no-print formats for those who loathe printing and organizing :).

Members, please click here to access all the charts. 

Updated Charts! What's included:

  • "Typical" voice place manner charts that we are used to seeing in PDF and Google Sheets 
  • Charts organized by most complex to least complex in PDF and Google Sheets. So much easier when writing goals and seeing the "big picture."
  • Charts that allow for recording data. Great for evaluations!
  • Charts that are in black and white for easy printing and charts that are in color for quick referencing.
  • Charts that are organized by markedness for the complexity approach. This is great when writing goals and explaining results to caregivers.

If you want to grab these charts and thousands of other materials, please join my awesome membership!

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