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Speaking genes or genes for speaking? Deciphering the genetics of speech and language


  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.

Elena Grigorenko, Yale University, Child Study Center, 230 South Frontage Road, New Haven, CT 06519-1124, USA; Email:


Background:  This article selectively reviews the status of the genetic research in the field of speech and language disorders.

Methods:  Major contributions to the field are selected, presented, and discussed.

Results:  The field presents itself through a variety of findings, characterized by both consistencies and inconsistencies.

Conclusions:  The last 30 + years of the field unequivocally testify to the importance of genetic factors in the acquisition of speech and language. However, the details of how these factors exert their influence are yet to be determined.