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

MODES OF ENUNCIATION, ETC          177

On such a subject* the opinion of so Ingenuous and

well-informed a writer as Werner is practically final.

There is little indeed that can be said in favor of
any form of rhythmic speech. Its introduction was,
and its application always has been, purely empirical.
The one poorĄ impotent, ex post facto argument that
has been used to defend it, is that observance of rhythm
divides the stammerer's attention. But it has never
been shown that " division" of attention was a thing
to be desired. And were it desirable, how long would
the expedient effect the "division" ? Rhythmic
speaking would soon become a habit, and would re-
quire no more attention than speaking in an arrhyth-
mic manner. The argument, even if it were valid,
would make the expedient effectual only as a tem-
porary measure. — Probably the real eacplanation of
the fact that slow, rhythmic speech possesses some
slight efficacy, is that this mode of enunciation places
a physical emphasis on the vowel, and therefore nec-
essarily a mental emphasis on the auditory image.
But tMs argument is itself a warning: it presages
the eventual predicament of the stammerer —a
mental condition in which his verbal imagery is
rhythmical and hideously distorted.

Gesticulation is another expedient occasionally
recommended for "dividing the stammerer's atten-
tion/1 " withdrawing his attention from Ms impedi-
ment,11 and so on* The Carious gestures are some-