CLUTTERING (Tachyphemia)

Excessively rapid, arhythmic speech with a tendency to stutter, jumble words, omit syllables, and reverse parts of words. According to Arnold (1960), cluttering differs from stuttering in a number of major respects.Unlike stuttering, it appears to be hereditary, comes on gradually, and is associated with severely delayed speech, poor academic ability in languages, almost total lack of musical ability, and diffuse dysrhythmia in EEG tracings.Cluttering includes all degrees of articulatory disorder from poorly enunciated speech to almost total incomprehensibility. A common characteristic is the accidental transposition of initial sounds known as spoonerisms,named after a Rev. W. A. Spooner of New College, Oxford, who inadvertently made such mistakes as “Kelley and Sheets” (for Keats and Shelley) and “The Lord is a shoving leopard” (loving shepherd). It is frequently associated with language disorders including dys- grammatism (use of incorrect grammar), congenital dyslexia and dysgraphia (reading and writing words in the opposite direction, slips of the pen, skipping syllables or words in reading etc.), cluttered handwriting (stereotyped errors, careless spelling mistakes, almost illegible writing). In view of the presence of these defects, which are frequently found in aphasia, cluttering is viewed by Arnold, Bakwin, and others as a congenital and general language disability involving a mild but diffuse brain dysfunction.Arnold has found that clutterers show evidence of a “congenital peculiarity of the entire personality structure.” The predominant characteristic is a hasty, untidy, erratic temperament; impulsiveness and hyperactivity, with rapid walking, restless sleep, and fidgetiness; interest in mathematical, mechanical, and scientific occupations rather than verbal vocations; generally normal intelligence, though thoughts tend to run ahead of words or sometimes vice versa; and excellent memory except for a short auditory memory span. The clutterer, unlike the stutterer, is usually unconscious of his defect and improves when attention is called to his speech. Therapy, therefore, consists largely of concentrated practice in speaking slowly and rhythmically, to help him become aware of his faulty patterns and establish smoother and clearer articulation.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "CLUTTERING (Tachyphemia)," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/cluttering-tachyphemia/ (accessed July 17, 2019).
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