Stuttering out of bilingualism

Rachel Karniol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper documents the development of a bilingual child both before and after he started stuttering severely in both languages at 25 months, at the point of transition to grammatical sentence construction. The child's bilingual language awareness and the characteristics of L1 and L2 prior to and at the time of onset of stuttering are discussed. After stuttering became severe, the parents allowed the child to drop the non-dominant language and the child became a non-stuttering monolingual speaker in L1. Several linguistic coping strategies were noted at this time. When use of L2 without a stutter re-emerged at 39 months, reliance on L1 was evident as well as several linguistic coping strategies. The paper suggests that stuttering is a function of syntactic overload and reviews models of stuttering to outline the implications of this case study and research on stuttering for the relationship between bilingualism and stuttering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-283
Number of pages29
JournalFirst Language
Issue number36
StatePublished - Oct 1992


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