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

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voice is comparatively feeble and unsteady, and tike effort Is
very exhausting. When calm and unexcited, I can talk, with
the diaphragm relaxed, but the voice cannot be heard half so
far, nor kept up half so long, and in hurried conversation the

tongue will be tripping continually* When the vital energy h
feeble, this muscle is slow to change from the action of breath-
ing to the action of sound, and acts feebly; and, in passing over

the consonantal sounds, relaxes, and, when it relaxes, the vocal
cords unkey, and the muscles of articulation and breathing play

spasmodically. . . .

" More than fifty years of my life had passed before my atten-
tion was turned to these two principles:  the different action

of the diaphragm, in breathing and in making sound, and the
fact that by gesture we can compel the diaphragm to take on

the same mode of action that is necessary for effective speech.
Until then my social intercourse was always liable to great em-
barrassment ; and, on great emergencies! I have been subjected
to severe mortification by trivial circumstances, such as the loss
of a night's rest, an indigestible meal, or some trifling embar-
rassment. Since I have made this discovery, it never obtrudes
itself upon my domestic circle, and gives me very little trouble
anywhere or under any circumstances. Reading aloud, while
reclining on a lounge, with my hand resting on the stomach, I
was surprised at finding the air was expelled from the lungs, in
a way different from anything I had ever thought or heard of,
viz., by the contraction instead of the relaxation of the dia-
phragm. This surprise was increased by finding that this
mode of breathing was closely connected with the difficulty of
utterance, and that whenever 1 made an ineffectual effort to
pronounce a word the air was escaping as in ordinary breathing*
When in good health I could control the action of the diaphragm
by volition. This, however, did not aid me much in talking;
and it was not until my attention was attracted to the fact, that