Timing Control Accuracy in Normal Speakers and Stutterers This study attempted to assess the abilities of 10 normal speakers, five stutterers in therapy, and five stutterers no longer in therapy, to control the time program of repeated utterances. The speech sample comprised repeated sentences, paragraphs, and nursery rhymes, and a finger-tapping task was included as a control. Temporal ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1977
Timing Control Accuracy in Normal Speakers and Stutterers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret H. Cooper
    North Carolina State University, Raleigh
  • George D. Allen
    North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1977
Timing Control Accuracy in Normal Speakers and Stutterers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1977, Vol. 20, 55-71. doi:10.1044/jshr.2001.55
History: Received March 31, 1975 , Accepted August 30, 1976
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1977, Vol. 20, 55-71. doi:10.1044/jshr.2001.55
History: Received March 31, 1975; Accepted August 30, 1976

This study attempted to assess the abilities of 10 normal speakers, five stutterers in therapy, and five stutterers no longer in therapy, to control the time program of repeated utterances. The speech sample comprised repeated sentences, paragraphs, and nursery rhymes, and a finger-tapping task was included as a control. Temporal accuracy was measured. Results suggest that (1) there is a wide range of timing abilities, even among the normal speakers, with considerable overlap between the different groups of speakers; (2) on most of the experimental tasks, normal speakers are more accurate timers than are stutterers; (3) stutterers released from therapy are more accurate timers than are stutterers still in therapy, whenever these groups differ; and (4) subjects' speech timing scores correlate moderately with their tapping scores. These results are discussed in terms of (1) theoretical timing control processes, such as a neural clock for controlling speech segment durations, and a speech motor output buffer, whose capacity may be limited in stutterers, and (2) known effects of rhythmic constraints and respiratory irregularity on fluency.

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