Hearing a word and processing it


I have just started working with 3-5 year olds that have unclear speech. Could you please explain something to me? If the child's hearing is fine and they can hear the word correctly, for example 'cat' but say 'tat', at what point has the brain instructed them to say it incorrectly?

Because if I were to point to a picture of a cat and say 'tat', the child would say "no, not tat, its TAT!

p.s. I've just used that as an example.

Many thanks

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