Word structure errors (misspeaking)

At too high a speech rate you may soon start to misspeak and produce word structure errors such as:

Syllable sequencing

The speaker puts syllables in the wrong order, for example: “infissufcient” (insufficient)

Errors in syllable structure

The speaker makes an error within a syllable, for example: “kind” instead of “mind”

Speech anticipation errors

The speaker anticipates a sound to come, for example: “grees gras” (green grass) or breaking screeches (screeching brakes)

Phonetic substitutions

The speaker substitutes sounds, causing incorrect words, such as “tevelision”, “brink deer”

Adding sounds/syllables

The speaker spontaneously adds an unintended sound or syllable to an existing word, for example in: “aggegration” (aggregation)

Sound substitutions

The speaker uses the wrong sounds, for example: “bid” for “bed”, or: “tea” for “too”.

Research shows that, although people who clutter are often less intelligible (caused by a too fast speech), most of them are in fact able to produce correct syllable and word structures, depending on the situation (some situations are simply too difficult to achieve enough control). This all has to do with the so-called speech motor control, which should be appropriate to speak fluently. Some researchers describe speech motor control as the ability to time so called articulatory, respiratory and laryngeal movements. Together they lead to fast and accurate syllable production.

In cluttering speech motor control at word level is disturbed in high speech rate, which results in word structure errors. In other words, when clutterers lower their speech rate well enough, these word structure errors disappear. To achieve that, it is of the utmost importance for people who clutter to maintain sufficient focus on their speech. Only then they are able to reach more control over their speech. There are several ways to train focus. Next to that it is, of course, important to train and use speech techniques that can deliver better speech output.

Want to learn to control your speech better? Then check out the coaching we offer.