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ICD-10 F80.8
ICD-9 307.9

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


A lisp (O E wlisp, stammering)[1] is a speech impediment, historically also known as sigmatism.[2] Stereotypically, people with a lisp are unable to pronounce sibilants (like the sound [s]), and replace them with interdentals (like the sound [θ]), though there are actually several kinds of lisp. The result is that the speech is unclear.

  • "Interdental" lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue protrudes between the front teeth and "dentalised" lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue just touches the front teeth.
  • The "lateral" lisp, where the /s/ and /z/ sounds are produced with air escaping over the sides of the tongue, is also called 'slushy ess' or a 'slushy lisp' due to the wet, spitty sound. The symbols for these lateralized sounds are in the Extended International Phonetic Alphabet for speech disorders, [ʪ] and [ʫ].
  • Finally there is the "palatal lisp" where the speaker attempts to make the sounds with the tongue in contact with the palate.[2]

See also


  1. Concise English Dictionary Wordsworth Editions Ltd. 1994, ISBN 1-85326-328-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bowen, Caroline. "Lisping - when /s/ and /z/ are hard to say". Retrieved 2006-03-07.

de:Lispeln it:Sigmatismo lt:Šveplavimas