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STUTTERING
STAMMERING



Stuttering results from a spasm of the vocal cords. Demosthenes, a great orator, illustrates that Stuttering can be remedied. Emperor Claudius illustrates that spastic Cerebral Palsy may impede speech without alteration of cognitive abilities. Non-syndromic stuttering is nearly three times more prevalent in males than in females and it can be inherited in a pattern suggestive of a single autosomal dominant gene mutation. Characteristically, speech is disrupted by involuntary sound repetitions, hesitations, pauses and explosive vocalization of "blocks" of sounds with the prolongation of certain vowels. Syndromic stuttering (speech dysfluency) is also a common component of neuromuscular syndromes, particularly cerebral palsy or CP.


Strong sensations and emotions may induce STUTTERING and make a person temporarily appear DUMB or MUTE. Such may happen when tasting a wine that is unexpectedly as TART as vinegar, a concept clearly conveyed by TARTAMUDO, a Spanish word for STUTTERER. The same ideas emerge from STUM and other ancient germanic roots pointing to tart fermenting young wines. Tart may be used to brand and degrade women with such allure as to make men stutter or appear dumbfounded by implying that such women are wanton, nymphomaniac or prostitutes. The landscape is further expanded by BALBUS, BLEAT and BATTUS. Balbus in Latin means stutterer and gave rise to BABY and BABBLE. Bleat arose as an echoic word pointing to the halting explosive incomprehensible busts of EEE like sounds made by goats, sheep and some infants and stutterers. Battus is a mythologic character who was transformed into a creature mute like a stone and Battology arose from the name of a stuttering king named after the mythic Battus to denote a discipline dedicated to help stutters and to the study of useless repetitions. Perhaps Battology shares ideas with BATON and BEAT since stuttering speech can, at times, occur in bursts and blurt, babble, burble, tattle can be applicable to describe such vocalizations. "Vocal pedagogy" is a more modern but less elegant way to refer to Battology.

 
To overcome his dysarthia (speech impediment) Demosthenes placed pebbles in his mouth.


Battus was a shepherd from Pylos who betrayed secrets of Hermes for which he was transformed into a creature as "silent as a stone".

 
Emperor Claudius suffered from dysphonia, dysarthria, dyskenisia and dysphoria, perhaps due to CP (altered voice, speech, neck contorsions and dysphoria or "quick temper") .

  Heredotus tells of the founder of Cyrene, King Battos, who sought help for his stuttering from the Delphic oracle. History repeatedly underscores that stuttering should not be considered a sign of a diminished intellect. Demosthenes, perhaps the most eloquent orator of all times, was a stutterer, had great difficulty in producing the "rrr" sound and suffered from spastic contortions of his shoulder.  To vanquish his inarticulate stammering speech, Demosthenes relentlessly worked to discipline his locution, including by placing small pebbles in his mouth. Like Demosthenes, the Roman Emperor Claudius may also have suffered from cerebral palsy or CP. Claudius stuttered badly, had involuntary muscle contortions of his shoulder and neck and had a limp. Claudius became a bright ruler and is remembered as a serious writer. He is remembered for refusing to be deified and stating that "... only gods choose other gods ...".

 
The thick neck of Claudius may be the result of neck and head contorsions.


Depictions of Demosthenes are abundant and those of Emperor Claudius often show that he had a thick neck, perhaps the result of involuntary chronic spasmodic contractions of his cleido-mastoid and other cervical muscles. Both Claudius and his nephew Caligula are also depicted with prominent ears.

Emperor Claudius and his thickend neck



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