Grammatical pauses in speech generally occur at a clause boundary, presumably due to parsing and planning; however, pausing can occur at grammatically inappropriate locations when planning, production, and/or lexical access processes are disrupted. Real‐time MRI of spontaneous speech production (responses to queries like “tell me about your family,” etc.) was used for seven subjects to examine the articulatory manifestations of grammatical and ungrammatical pauses (manually classified as such by two experimenters depending on the presence/absence of a clausal juncture). Measures quantifying the speed of articulators were developed and applied during these pauses as well as their immediate neighborhoods. Results indicate a consistently higher articulatory speed and spatial range for grammatical compared to ungrammatical pauses, and an appreciable drop in speed for grammatical pauses relative to their neighborhoods, suggesting that higher‐level cognitive mechanisms are at work in planning grammatical pauses. On the other hand, ungrammatical pauses show only a slight decrease in articulator speed at the pause but are followed by a spurt in speed immediately after, suggesting that the planning mechanism has been re‐engaged only at that point, giving an indication of how much time it takes to “recover” from the perturbation of the linguistic structural integrity of the utterance. [Work supported by NIH.]