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316               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

words which interest suggests to him and which he is keen to fix
by means of graphic language. He breaks out into writing, writing
at once whole sentences and not only words detached one from the


Defects and imperfections in speech are derived in part from
organic causes consisting of malformations, or pathological altera-
tions of the nervous system; but they are partly connected with
functional defects acquired during the period when speech is deve-
loping, and they consist of a wrong pronunciation of the sounds
composing the spoken word. Such errors are picked up by the
child when he hears the word pronounced badly, or hears imperfect
speech. Dialect defects come under this heading, but there also
•enter into it bad habits, which are responsible for the persistence
in the child of defects natural to infantile speech. Again, the
•child imitates the faulty speech of the people who surround him
in early childhood.

The normal defects of childish speech are to be traced to the

fact that the complicated muscular apparatus of the organs of

•speech is not yet functioning properly, hence it is not able to

reproduce the sound which was the sense-stimulus of this internal

movement.   The association of the movements necessary for the

articulation of the spoken word is established gradually.   This

results in a speech in which sounds are imperfect and often left

*out (hence incomplete words).   These defects are grouped together

.under the term blaesitas* and are mainly due to the fact that the

child cannot yet control the movements of the tongue.   They

comprise principally:  sigmatisjn, or the imperfect pronunciation

*of the letter S; rhoticism, or excessive use of jR; lambadism, or

defective pronunciation of L\ gammacism, wrong pronunciation of

<j; lotacism, imperfect pronunciation of the gutterals; mogilalia,

'imperfect pronunciation of the labials; according to some authors,

x Defective speech.