Marc Colombat


Marc Colombat played a key role in the creation of speech pathology and phonology in France during the second half of the 19th century. His research, continued by his son Emile, contributed to the creation of modern audiophonology. Colombat studied medicine in Montpellier, Paris, and Strasbourg. His doctoral dissertation, from Strasbourg University, completed in 1828, was on stuttering. He established an a speech therapy institute in Paris.

He drew from his predecessors, whose work he systematized. He divided stuttering into types. One involved spams in the articulators, another involved rigidity in the muscles of the larynx, pharynx and respiration. His treatment involved the use of rhythmic vocal gymnastics to coordinate the muscles of respiration, phonation and articulation. He also taught a system of opposing movements of the muscles of articulation to prevent sound repetition. He also used mechanical devices for the teeth and mouth, the most famous of which is his "muthonome." He was awarded a the prize from the French Academy for his efforts to cure stuttering. Colombat is considered by some to be the person who first identified the symptoms of cluttering (Reichel et al).