No-one speaks with perfect fluency.  To some degree, we all:

  • repeat words (“No, no, I don’t want that.”);
  • repeat phrases (“The only reason…the only reason”);
  • use interjections (“um”, “er”, “like”);
  • re-start and revise sentences (The only – I’m only going to go if I get to drive”); and
  • leave words and sentences unfinished (“I went to Bunnings and…Let me tell you about…wait…Are you?”)

These are called “normal” or “typical” disfluencies because they happen to everyone.  

People who clutter exhibit predominantly normal disfluencies.  One study showed that children who clutter had 7.6 times more normal disfluencies compared to “atypical” disfluencies when they retold a story (van Zaalen et al., 2009).

“Atypical” disfluencies include:

  • sound repetitions (“s-s-s-so”);
  • syllable repetitions (“be-be-be-be-because”);
  • prolongations (“Aaaaaaaaaaaaand”); and
  • blocks (where the person tensely pauses while trying to speak but no sound comes out).

“Atypical disfluencies” are most commonly associated with stuttering.

Primary source: Myers, Bakker, K., St. Louis, K.O., Raphael, L.J. (2012). Disfluencies in cluttered speech. Journal of Fluency Disorders 37, 9-19.

Banter Speech & Language Banter Speech & Language
Banter Speech & Language is an independent firm of speech pathologists for adults and children. We help clients in our local area, including Concord, Rhodes, Strathfield and all other suburbs of Sydney’s Inner West.

Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.

David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).

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