Approximately 80% to 95% of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) eventually develop speech impairments, such as defective articulation, slow laborious speech and hypernasality. The relationship between impaired speech and asymptomatic speech may be seen as a divergence from a baseline. This relationship can be characterized in terms of measurable combinations of phonological characteristics that are indicative of the degree to which the two diverge. We demonstrate that divergence measurements based on phonological characteristics of speech correlate with physiological assessments of ALS. Speech-based assessments offer benefits over commonly-used physiological assessments in that they are inexpensive, non-intrusive, and do not require trained clinical personnel for administering and interpreting the results.