Research on speech motor control and its disorders: a review and prospective

J Commun Disord. Sep-Oct 2000;33(5):391-427; quiz 428. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9924(00)00023-x.


This paper reviews issues in speech motor control and a class of communication disorders known as motor speech disorders. Speech motor control refers to the systems and strategies that regulate the production of speech, including the planning and preparation of movements (sometimes called motor programming) and the execution of movement plans to result in muscle contractions and structural displacements. Traditionally, speech motor control is distinguished from phonologic operations, but in some recent phonologic theories, there is a deliberate blurring of the boundaries between phonologic representation and motor functions. Moreover, there is continuing discussion in the literature as to whether a given motor speech disorder (especially apraxia of speech and stuttering) should be understood at the phonologic level, the motoric level, or both of these. The motor speech disorders considered here include: the dysarthrias, apraxia of speech, developmental apraxia of speech, developmental stuttering, acquired (neurogenic and psychogenic) stuttering, and cluttering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Apraxias / diagnosis*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dysarthria / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Speech Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Stuttering / diagnosis*