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Comprehensive information on all aspects of human communication and speech therapy, including speech, language, voice, stuttering and much more.....

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Speech

Speech development, speech disorders, phonetics, phonology, articulation, speech perception...and much more!

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Language

Language development, acquisition, verbal language, syntax, morphology, pragmatics...and more!

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Communication

The communication chain, conversation, body language, communication disorders...etc...etc

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Featured Article

Stuttering Problems

There are many stuttering problems for people who stutter. People with an established stutter are aware of the negative effect of repetitions, prolongations, hesitations and blocks on their speech. Their stutter (stammer) may be accompanied by facial tics and uncontrolled body movements. Stuttering can lead to the avoidance of certain activities and to social isolation.

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Language Transmission

Transmission of language (our thoughts, feelings, ideas) is carried out using three main methods: speech, writing and signing.

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Conversation

Conversation represents the archetypal language use through which people participate in social interactions. This article sets out the major characteristics of conversations. They are highly coordinated, collaborative events. They generally have no more than one person speaking at a time and they proceed without a predetermined cognitive map. They are constructed on a turn-by-turn basis.

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Vocabulary

Vocabulary is the collection of words a person or group knows and uses. Different words are used in different modes of communication, such as speaking or writing. Slang, jargon and cant are used for different social functions. The concept of a word family is used to help calculate the size of a person’s vocabulary.

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Time-limited Language Variation

Time-limited language variation means that variations in a speaker’s linguistic choices and pronunciations reflect current social and political fashions and practices. Some linguistic choices are considered to be politically incorrect.

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Semantic Categories

Back in 1973, the linguist Roger Brown identified several categories of meaning that all children seem to express. He called these categories semantic categories, which literally means ‘meaning categories’. We will consider four of these: (1) AGENT, (2) OBJECT, (3) ACTION, and (4) LOCATION.

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Lengthening Utterances with ‘And’

Using ‘and’ as a connector is one of the most pervasive ways children extend their utterances beyond the Two and Three Word Stages. It is used creatively for a variety of reasons. Between 25-35 months at least four functions develop: additive, temporal, causal and adversative. There is a cumulative effect to using these functions, each function being dependent upon the function that precedes it.

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Linguistic Performance and Linguistic Competence

Linguistic competence is an abstract, internalized ability that allows us to reject certain utterances as ungrammatical and the ability to interpret grammatical utterances that we have never heard before. In contrast, linguistic performance is the behavior of producing actual, authentic utterances.

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Mean Length of Utterance

Children develop expressive language skills in the same sequential order. As they mature, the length of their utterances increases. Consequently we are able to relate the length of an utterance to a child’s age. As the basic element of language is the morpheme, it is appropriate to determine average (mean) length of a child’s utterances in relation to morphemes rather than words. This takes into account the child’s developing morphological skills as well as their syntactic skills. This article presents a protocol for calculating the mean length of utterance (MLU) and demonstrates how it can be compared against normative data to give an age-equivalent language score.

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