Stuttering is a global, pan-cultural disturbance that has been with us throughout time. Those who have stuttered since childhood are often referred to as having developmental stuttering (DS), suffer considerable emotional pain and social stigma, and account for over 1% of the adult population. Heretofore fluent adult individuals rendered dysfluent by neurogenic compromise are referred to as having acquired stuttering (AS) and have speech-motor characteristics different from DS. Ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets, Egyptian hieroglyphics ('nit-nit'), the Old Testament (Moses stuttered), and the Holy Koran refer to stuttering. Recent neuroscience investigations of dysfluent speech-motor output substantiate organic factors in the etiology of stuttering and highlight stuttering as a window into understanding the normal as well as abnormal speech-motor processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Birdsong
  • Dysfluency
  • Speech
  • Stuttering
  • Zebra finch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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