There is ample evidence that stuttering events are influenced by linguistic variables. Brown (1945) was perhaps the first researcher to suggest linguistic influences on stuttering events with his groundbreaking report of apparent influences of a word's grammatical form class (i.e., content versus function word) on stuttering loci in adults who stuttered. In brief, Brown reported that adults who stuttered were significantly more likely to be disfluent on content words (e.g., nouns and verbs) than on function words (e.g., prepositions and pronouns).
Since Brown's seminal work, researchers have continually refined analyses in the study of linguistic influences on stuttering. We now know, for example, that young children are generally more likely to stutter on sentences of greater grammatical complexity than on sentences of less grammatical complexity (Logan and Conture, 1995; Yaruss, 1999). Furthermore, the content-function variable appears not to be the most relevant influence on stuttering loci; instead, stuttering events are significantly more likely on either a content word or on a phrase-initial function word that precedes a content word than in other phrasal locations (Au-Yeung, Howell, and Pilgrim, 1998). The underlying influence here is thought to be the planning unit in language formulation, such that disfluencies are significantly more likely to occur at the beginning of a language planning unit, when remaining components of the unit continue to be refined for production.
These findings reveal that aspects of language planning, formulation, and production exert an influence on stuttering for children and adults. These findings support the view that linguistic variables are relevant in characterizing stuttering events. It is noteworthy, however, that linguistic factors appear to influence disfluencies in the same way for stutterers and nonstutterers alike. That is, linguistic variables such as grammatical complexity and the loci of stuttering tend to influence individuals whose disfluencies occur at typical rates in language production as well as individuals whose disfluencies are frequent enough to yield identification as a ''stutterer.''
The domain of language is relevant in the study of early childhood stuttering. The majority of young children who stutter display expressive language abilities at or above normative expectations. In addition, a number of linguistic variables, such as the grammatical complexity of an utterance, exert an influence on the likelihood of a stuttering event. It may be informative for future investigation in this area of inquiry to move toward detailed and specific analyses of profiles of language strength and evaluation of synchrony versus asynchrony within and across developmental domains.
See also speech disfLuEncy and stuttering in chlLdREn.
—Ruth V. Watkins References
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This book discusses the futility of curing stammering by common means. It traces various attempts at curing stammering in the past and how wasteful these attempt were, until he discovered a simple program to cure it. The book presents the life of Benjamin Nathaniel Bogue and his struggles with the handicap. Bogue devotes a great deal of text to explain the handicap of stammering, its effects on the body and psychology of the sufferer, and its cure.