Speech problems, as a child, caused social difficulties which still linger. I wish to understand the original problem, but can’t fully reconstruct the original problem. For certain, I didn’t handle the ‘s’ in words such as snake, smoke, and smile. People have laughed at my pronunciation of ‘oil’, but I suspect I just use the ‘ol’ as in ‘control’ rather than emphasizing the ‘oi.’
My mom said I was a quiet baby and was intelligible until age 5. Childhood apraxia of speech is my best guess at the original problem, but it is just a guess. The Native American side of the family seems to be the problem because my granddad and his sons failed to speak clearly, and granddad’s grandmother was Native American. I’ve always known about my grandmother’s Spanish ancestry, but I didn’t realize my Native American side had Spanish ties, until I learned my great-great grandmother’s full name; and now I suspect she came from one of the original tribes of Florida–Seminoles are foreigners. With such an extremely unique heritage, it is nearly impossible to know whether my tribe had issues. Lookup the Timucua Language and you will see the term ‘language isoloate’ meaning it has no known connection to other languages.
The Timucua language has 14 consonants; while the English language has 24. Timucua uses fewer consonant clusters than other languages and ‘sn’ as in snake is a consonant cluster and the difference in vowel usage is even greater–the ‘oy’ as in boy, is not used in the Timucua language. As natives, my family has always had to adapt to invaders, but there are struggles to adapt and speech may be a struggle inherent to my tribe. Tribes in northern North America have a note problem with stuttering, so my tribe may have different problem. I’ll never get answers to my questions because I’m uniquely native in a land where everyone not related to me–comes from somewhere else.