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Speech Motor ControlNew developments in basic and applied research$
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Ben Maassen and Pascal van Lieshout

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235797.001.0001

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Classification and taxonomy of motor speech disorders: what are the issues?

Classification and taxonomy of motor speech disorders: what are the issues?

(p.229) Chapter 13 Classification and taxonomy of motor speech disorders: what are the issues?
Speech Motor Control

Gary Weismer

Yunjung Kim

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a historical overview of the Mayo Clinic perspective on motor speech disorders, and argues that this perspective has served its purpose and should be abandoned in favour of a different approach. The Mayo Clinic perspective assumes a tight coupling between ‘classic’ neurological symptoms of the various diseases causing dysarthria and the associated speech symptoms; there is little or no empirical support for this assumption. Moreover, the Mayo Clinic perspective has fostered a scientific concern with oromotor, nonverbal performance of persons with motor speech disorders, but there is little evidence that such a concern has produced insights to the speech production disorder in dysarthria or apraxia of speech. The scientific literature on dysarthria and apraxia of speech has been very concerned with the differences between the dysarthria types originally identified in the Mayo Clinic studies, and between dysarthria and apraxia of speech, yet a careful examination of the literature reveals many speech production phenomena that are similar across these speech disorders. The chapter argues for a speech production and perception program that identifies these commonalities as ‘core’ phenomena of motor speech disorders. Knowledge of these core phenomena will permit a more specific identification of the speech production and perception factors that truly distinguish different kinds of motor speech disorder. Motor speech disorders should be pursued scientifically by a focus on speech research, rather than work on oromotor, nonspeech behaviours.

Keywords:   Mayo Clinic, motor speech disorders, dysarthria, speech symptoms, apraxia

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