Subvocalization and Reading Rate Differences between Stuttering and Nonstuttering Children and Adults The hypothesis tested was that stutterers subvocalize more slowly than nonstutterers and that they need more time for the overt production of the fluent parts of their speech. We also investigated whether rate differences could only be observed for those words on which the stutterers expect to stutter. Fifty-nine school ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1990
Subvocalization and Reading Rate Differences between Stuttering and Nonstuttering Children and Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hans-Georg Bosshardt
    Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Hans-Georg Bosshardt, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Fakultaät für Psychologie, Postfach 10 21 48, Universitatsstrasse, 4830 Bochum 1, Federal Republic of Germany.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1990
Subvocalization and Reading Rate Differences between Stuttering and Nonstuttering Children and Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1990, Vol. 33, 776-785. doi:10.1044/jshr.3304.776
History: Received November 17, 1989 , Accepted May 17, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1990, Vol. 33, 776-785. doi:10.1044/jshr.3304.776
History: Received November 17, 1989; Accepted May 17, 1990

The hypothesis tested was that stutterers subvocalize more slowly than nonstutterers and that they need more time for the overt production of the fluent parts of their speech. We also investigated whether rate differences could only be observed for those words on which the stutterers expect to stutter. Fifty-nine school children (27 stutterers and 32 nonstutterers) and 19 adults (18 stutterers and 21 nonstutterers) performed a reading task in which a noun was presented together with its definite article. The presentation times of the reading material were controlled by the subjects. Half of the material had to be read silently, the other half orally. In oral reading, only the data from those trials without any indication of disfluencies were used. Dependent variables were presentation times, speech latency, and speech duration. The stutterers’ silent presentation times were significantly longer than those of nonstutterers and this difference was significantly greater for children than for adults. In oral reading all stutterers, regardless of age, had longer presentation times, speech latencies, and article durations than the nonstutterers. Some nouns, however, were uttered significantly more rapidly by stutterers than by nonstutterers. These time differences were found to be independent of the stutterers’ expectation to stutter. Our results indicate that a strictly motoric explanation of stuttering is inadequate. The data show that the stutterers and nonstutterers differ with respect to the temporal parameters not only during speech execution, but during speech planning as well.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Dieter Raschdorf, Thea Moritzen, and Jörg Jescheniak have made highly valuable and important contributions to all parts of the present investigation. The staffs of the “Sonderschulen für Sprachbehinderte” in Bochum and Dortmund, and of the “Gesamtschule Brackel,” particularly the headmasters M. Kunze, M. Weiss, and M. Zoerner made it possible that the present study could be realized in their schools. Monika Remy and Bernhard Milz managed to interest their nonstuttering students in the problems of stuttering so that they agreed to participate in the present investigation. Horst Lewandowsky was so kind as to make it possible to use rooms of the “Volkshochschule” in Essen to perform the tests with the stutterers.
I am indebted to Willem J. M. Levelt for permission to use the speech laboratory of the Max-Planck-Institute in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Henning Reetz adapted the available software to the requirements of the present experiment and Antje Meyer was kind enough to organize and coordinate the work in the lab. The extremely time-consuming measurements of speech latency and speech duration were competently performed by Hans Franzen and Ger Desserje.
Donald Goodwin and Indira Nandyal helped improve the English style of the present text. An unknown reviewer, and Nan Bernstein Ratner made helpful comments on an earlier version of the present article.
The author wishes to thank all of them and gratefully acknowledges their help in the realization of the present study.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access