Influences of Length and Syntactic Complexity on the Speech Motor Stability of the Fluent Speech of Adults Who Stutter

Kleinow, Jennifer; Smith, Anne
April 2000
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2000, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p548
Academic Journal
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of utterance length and syntactic complexity on the speech motor stability of adults who stutter. Lower lip movement was recorded from 8 adults who stutter and 8 normally fluent controls. They produced a target phrase in isolation (baseline condition) and the same phrase embedded in utterances of increased length and/or increased syntactic complexity. The spatiotemporal index (STI) was used to quantify the stability of lower lip movements across multiple repetitions of the target phrase. Results indicated: (a) Adults who stutter demonstrated higher overall STI values than normally fluent adults across all experimental conditions, indicating decreased speech motor stability; (b) the speech motor stability of normally fluent adults was not affected by increasing syntactic complexity, but the speech motor stability of adults who stutter decreased when the stimuli were more complex; (c) increasing the length of the target utterance (without increasing syntactic complexity) did not affect the speech motor stability of either speaker group. These results indicate that language formulation processes may affect speech production processes and that the speech motor systems of adults who stutter may be especially susceptible to the linguistic demands required to produce a more complex utterance. The present findings, therefore, support the hypothesis that linguistic complexity is one factor that contributes to the disruptions of speech motor stability characteristic of stuttering.


Related Articles

  • Helping stutterers. Schroeder, Ken // Education Digest;Jan1993, Vol. 58 Issue 5, p73 

    Examines decisions faced by teachers of a child who stutters in class. The Stuttering Foundation of America; `The Child Who Stutters at School: Notes to the Teacher,' a brochure by speech-language pathologist Dean E. Williams; Foundation President Jane Fraser; Brochure and Hotline on Stuttering...

  • Is the basis of stuttering genetic? Yairi, Ehud // ASHA;Winter98, Vol. 40 Issue 1, p29 

    Focuses on stuttering, while questioning whether it is genetic. Information of the author's family who stuttered; Indepth look at genetic, limitation and ethical perspectives of stuttering. INSETS: Johnson remembered;Questions to consider.

  • One reason to speak before you think. Carey, Benedict; Chen, Ingfei // Health (Time Inc. Health);Jul/Aug96, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p32 

    Reports on a study by psychologists Nicholas Christenfeld and Beth Creager, showing that people are more likely to stutter with `ums' and `ers' when they feel self-conscious than when they feel anxious. Tips in eliminating the interjections.

  • Physiological differences between stutterers and nonstutterers in perceptually fluent speech: EMG... van Lieshout, Pascal H.H.M.; Peters, Herman F.M. // Journal of Speech & Hearing Research;Feb93, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p55 

    Describes a study which analyzed electromyograph (EMG) signals of the m. orbicularis oris inferior evoked by lip-rounding gestures. Purpose of the study; EMG peak latency measure; Pearson correlation matrix for EMG measures; Results of discriminant analysis; Method; Results; Discussion.

  • Effects of linguistic correlates of stuttering on Emg activity in nonstuttering speakers. van Lieshout, Pascal H.H.M.; Starkweather, C. Woodruff // Journal of Speech & Hearing Research;Apr95, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p360 

    Investigates changes in upper lip and lower lip integrated electromyographic (IEMG) amplitude and temporal measures related to linguistic factors known for their influence on stuttering. Finding that words in sentence initial position have shorter word and vowel durations in combination with an...

  • Stuttering includes both within-word and between-word disfluencies. Cordes, Anne K.; Ingham, Roger J. // Journal of Speech & Hearing Research;Apr95, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p382 

    Examines available logical and empirical evidence on the hypothesis that both stutterings and normal disfluencies may occur within, across, and between words. Within-word and between-word disfluency types; Stronger and weaker forms of a within-word definition of stuttering; Evidence against a...

  • Part-word repetitions by persons who stutter: Fragment types and their articulatory processes. Viswanath, Nagalapura S.; Neel, Amy T. // Journal of Speech & Hearing Research;Aug95, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p740 

    Compares the spectro-temporal changes in fragments and resolutions to gain insight into the processes underlying termination-restart cycles in developmental stuttering. Existence of fragments with long vowels; Relation between voicing status of the word initial stop and fragment composition;...

  • My name is Marnie Miller. Tezer, Phyllis; Maass, Mary Kurnick // Children's Digest;Oct/Nov94, Vol. 44 Issue 415, p16 

    Features a short story about how a girl named Marnie Miller overcame her tendency to stammer while participating in a school play.

  • Abstracts of recent literature. Edelstein, Joan E.; Schein, Jerome D. // Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development;Winter90, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p61 

    Presents an abstract of a study entitled `A Preliminary Analysis of the Ameliorative Effects of Time-Out from Speaking on Stuttering,' by Jemes, Ricciardelli et al published in the 1989 issue of the `Journal of Speech and Hearing Research' periodical concerning the reduction of stuttering by...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics