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Classification according to ICD-10
F80.0 Articulation disorder
F80.8 Other developmental disorders of speech or language / lisp
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

Lisp (of althochdeutsch  lispen lisp = originally onomatopoeic) is the name for the phonation disorder of sibilants s ( [⁠ s ⁠] , [⁠ z ⁠] ), SCH ( [⁠ ʃ ⁠] ) and CH ( [⁠ ç ⁠] ). It's a form of dyslalia . It is considered a speech error in the German language .

Forms of lisp

The sound [s] , known as "sigmatism" (derived from the Greek letter sigma ), is most frequently affected . The "s" is usually formed with the tongue behind the teeth on the alveoli (German: Zahnfach ). Depending on the wrong place of education, a distinction is made between sigmatism addentalis (formation on the teeth) and sigmatism interdentalis (formation between the teeth). A sigmatism addentalis is similar to the "hard" English "th" ( voiceless dental fricative ). Further s-malformations arise z. B. by the lateral flow of air past the edges of the tongue (sigmatism lateralis) or a strong whistling and / or hissing s-sound (sigmatism stridens) articulated with excessive breath pressure. There is also a lisp on the roof of the mouth , whereby the tongue sometimes completely stops the air flow, so that the fricative sound ends abruptly. This makes the speaker less intelligible.

The disturbance of the “sh” is called “Schetism”: that of the “ch” is called “Chitism”.


The sibilants are the "most difficult" sounds in the German language and are therefore only acquired correctly at the end of primary language development. Until then, sibilance disorders are usually considered normal (so-called physiological dyslalia). Hearing disorders (especially in the high frequency range) should be excluded as possible causes. Jaws and teeth misalignments or gaps favor incorrect sound formation. In connection with a myofunctional disorder , dyslalia of the sibilant sounds is also common. Paralysis in the tongue area or tongue / jaw changes caused by tumors can also impair the sibilance.

Temporary causes

Lisping can also have temporary causes, such as: B. if you speak with loose braces for the first few days and thereby obstruct your tongue or if other objects do this. This is not a cause for concern and usually dissolves (with braces) on its own or by removing the object in the mouth.


Lisp can usually be treated successfully. Because of the change of teeth in childhood, therapy is indicated beforehand because of the then still physiological dyslalia mainly after the change of teeth in the anterior region.


In cartoons like Maya the Bee , Duffy Duck , The Blue Elise , Mighty B! Here comes Bessie and Ice Age lisping some characters.

See also


  • Günter Wirth: speech disorders, speech disorders, children's hearing disorders . 5th edition. DÄV, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-7691-1137-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. , accessed on April 13, 2012 at 8.30 p.m.