Thank you all so much for taking the time to listen to this talk today.
My name is Courtney Byrd.
I am a Professor and an Associate Chair of
the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
at the University of Texas at Austin.
I'm also the founding Director of
the Endowed Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute and
the principal investigator of
the endowed Jennifer and Emmanuel Bodner of Developmental Stuttering Laboratory.
Today, I'm going to be talking to you about a topic that has continued to intrigue me:
the manifestation of stuttering in people who speak more than one language.
As we begin to take this journey in terms of how we look at
the differences and disfluencies that are spoken by people
who speak more than one language versus those who speak only one,
we must first think about what
distinguishes the monolingual speaker from the bilingual speaker.
Bilingual speakers have functional knowledge of more than one language.
What's exciting about people who speak more than one language
is that they do present a unique case for us in terms of exploring
how the motor and linguistic demands
compromise the person's ability to maintain speech fluency.
We also need to take into account that for the bilingual speaker,
they're not simply two monolingual speakers in one.
That is, they don't know each language to
the same degree and they can't speak
each language to the same degree even if they're balanced.
Rather, we have to consider that the bilingual speaker is experiencing
their language knowledge spread across
two or perhaps in the case of multilingual speakers,
more than two languages.