September 13, 1971

Speech Pathology: An Applied Behavioral Science

Author Affiliations

Tufts-New England Medical Center Boston


by William H. Perkins, 449 pp, with illus, $11.75, St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1971.

JAMA. 1971;217(11):1556. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190110074034

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What gives birth to a new profession or specialty? When does such an entity acquire independent status? For medical practitioners concerned with the development of cross disciplinary activity in general and with communication disorders in particular, some fascinating reading will be found in this text. Dr. Perkins has written a clear, succinct and welldocumented survey that commands attention for both its style and substance.

The first section reviews the historic and scientific roots of the discipline of speech science and does so in terms of the dynamic nature of communication function. Motor, acoustic and perceptual phonetics, and the classical bases of speech (including linguistic, psychologic, social, and developmental aspects) are explored. Interactional elements requiring basic categorical information (eg, in neurology or psychology) are delineated, and provide the rationale for interdisciplinary training relative to the "speech" process. The second section of the book deals with the application of basic information to