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Full text of "Stamering And Cognate Defects Of Speech Vol - Ii"

48        SYSTEMS OF  TREATING STAMMERING

inflection-signs, intensity-signs, etc.; and others by
interpolated remarks directing the pupil to repeat
certain parts of the exercise, and to breathe at partic-
ular points in a particular manner. At one point
the exercise may require chest breathing, at another
costal breathing, and so on. As in the respiratory
exercises, the time is measured by a metronome, or is
given by an instructor leading the class with a baton.

At this point it may be well for us to consider the
virtues of these exercises.

It may be said of vocal exercises in general that
most of them are useful as ordinary elocutionary
measures; and that the majority of them would be
beneficial to the stammerer in some respects. But
the exercises are usually of benefit for their psycho-
logical effect rather than for their elocutionary value.
The exercises exert a favorable influence through
suggestion when the stammerer has confidence in their
therapeutic power; and for a time, at least, they may
remove such secondary causes as fear, bewilderment,
and inhibitive auto-suggestion. It seems probable
that the vocal exercises, when practised several hours
a day, may intensify the stammerer's auditory ima-
gery, and thus exert a beneficial influence on speech.
But if an intensification of the imagery occurs, it is
temporary; and the improvement in speech is usually
lost when the exercises are discontinued. Probably
some of the vocal exercises influence the kinaesthetic