A Perfect Norwegian Stutter

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Re: Erasing old tapes in your head with change in location, peopl...

From: Paul Goldstein
Date: 08 Oct 2011
Time: 20:55:28 -0500
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Hi,Irene. Thanks for these very interesting and thoughtful comments! Yes, indeed that scenic train from Oslo to Bergen is beautiful - I've taken it quite a few times! (I have lived in the Bergen area since 2000.) After an initial period of increased speech difficulty when I first moved to Norway - this lasted for about 8-9 months or so as I gradually became acclimated to a totally new culture, society, and linguistic environment - my stuttering within Norway (whether using English or Norwegian) became settled into an "even keel". This was especially true after I gradually reached the decision to "let go", be freely myself, and not practice or monitor my fluency targets any more. Interestingly, when I visit the U.S. (which I do once or twice a year, for month-long periods) my speech invariably worsens. I think this has to do with the principles you've mentioned - the old cues and stimuli from the past, and the fact that the "old tapes" are still playing. Norway is an environment that I am now very comfortable in. Although I'm also comfortable in the U.S. (after all, I lived there for 46 years!), I somehow feel more pressure on my speech while I'm there. (This may be partly due to my having often spoken fluently with targets with my American friends and relatives in years past.) It's certainly curious that I now generally have much better speech in Norway than in the U.S., considering how long I lived in the U.S., but I think the points I've mentioned here are probably the major reasons. I think also that the new environment in Norway helped me to "erase old tapes", as you've perceptively put it, since the cues from my social and family environment here are much different from what they were in the U.S. I

Last changed: 10/08/11