The deformation mechanisms possible in sediments undergoing lithification and incorporation into accretionary wedges range from particulate flow, involving grain boundary sliding, to diffusion mass transfer, crystal plastic deformation, and fracture processes. A diagram illustrating these different deformation mechanisms in terms of the lithification state, the imposed strain rate, and the fluid pressure is introduced. Although at present qualitative, such diagrams do allow the rapid assessment of changes in the deformation processes that accompany lithification and aid the identification of the possible deformation mechanism paths associated with the production of preserved fabrics. The diagrams are particularly useful for illustrating the cyclic changes in fluid pressure, porosity, and strain rate that commonly accompany the evolution of fault rocks. The cyclic deformation mechanism path involved in the production of scaly fabrics associated with thrust faults in the Barbados accretionary wedge is used to illustrate the assessment of the time periods and strain rates associated with the different parts of the deformation mechanism path.