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Years of Service 65  A Nonprofit Organization

Is Language a Risk Factor in Stuttering?

By Ehud Yairi, Ph.D., Emeritus Faculty, University of Illinois

A person’s stuttering is not ran-

dom. Linguistic factors have been considered relevant to stuttering es- pecially since early research (Brown, 1937, 1945) demonstrated their strong influence on the occur- rence of stuttering events, or “mo- ments of stutter- ing,” in specific locations of the speech

stream Ehud Yairi, Ph.D.

(e.g., the begin- ning of sentences and phrases) and in words of cer- tain grammatical classes

verbs and adjectives). The link be- tween stuttering and language is es- pecially intuitive in young children. Several scholars have noted that stuttering onset, typically between ages 2 and 4, coincides with the crit- ical period of accelerated expansion in children’s expressive and recep- tive language (Levina, 1963; Yairi, 1983, Ratner, 1997). Thirty-six years ago, Cheverkeva (1977) pro- posed that stuttering is basically a disorder of language development, an idea recently echoed by Bloodstein (2002). The possible stuttering-lan-

guage link has become a focus of scientific interest, reflected in several stuttering models with psycholinguistic


Among these are the Demands- Capacity Model (Starkweather, 1987),

Hypothesis (Postma & Kolk, 1993), the Trade-Off Hypothesis (Ratner, 1997) and the Cognitive

Continued on page 14 the Covert-Repair Since 1947 ... Helping Those Who Stutter

(e.g., New Website Unveiled

designing, brainstorming, and hard work,

After months of research, the Stuttering

Foundation’s new website,, went live Saturday July 28. “We are excited to bring a new

and improved re- source to the pub- lic,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. With more

user friendly while providing accurate information. Among the many changes

than 3 million hits per month, the Stuttering Foundation con- tinues to be the go-to site for the most accurate and current infor- mation on stuttering. More than a mere facelift,

the site underwent a transfor- mation from top to bottom. The aim is to make the site more

43 million hits per month. 4Over 900 web pages. 4After the United States, most web traffic comes from India and Sweden. 4Famous People brochure is the most downloaded. 4New blog allows interac- tion with readers. 4There are materials in more than 31 languages.

Interesting Facts About

you will notice are the new tool bars. At the top of the home page you can choose from broad cate- gories such as The Facts, Resources, go di- rectly to the Store, or Contact Us. If you already

have a good idea of what informa- tion you need, the second tool bar right below tar- gets Parents of Pre s chool e r s , Parents of School- age Children,

Teens, Adults, Teachers, Speech- Language


Physicians, and Employers. The eye-catching ‘sliders’ offer a quick way to get to some of our Continued on page 4

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