Relation Between Phonologic Difficulty and the Occurrence of Disfluencies in the Early Stage of Stuttering People who stutter, especially children, have often been reported to exhibit a wide range of concomitant communication problems including articulation and phonologic deficiencies. This study investigated the relation between the phonologic difficulty of words and the point at which stuttering-like disfluencies occurred in the speech of preschool children identified as ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1994
Relation Between Phonologic Difficulty and the Occurrence of Disfluencies in the Early Stage of Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca Niermann Throneburg
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ehud Yairi
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Elaine P. Paden
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Contact author: Rebecca Niermann Throneburg, MA, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois, 901 S. Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1994
Relation Between Phonologic Difficulty and the Occurrence of Disfluencies in the Early Stage of Stuttering
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 504-509. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.504
History: Received April 27, 1993 , Accepted November 15, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 504-509. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.504
History: Received April 27, 1993; Accepted November 15, 1993

People who stutter, especially children, have often been reported to exhibit a wide range of concomitant communication problems including articulation and phonologic deficiencies. This study investigated the relation between the phonologic difficulty of words and the point at which stuttering-like disfluencies occurred in the speech of preschool children identified as having a stuttering problem (n=24). The children were divided into subgroups according to stuttering severity and phonologic ability. A spontaneous speech sample of approximately 1,000 words was tape-recorded from each child, and perceived disfluencies were identified. The phonologic difficulty of each word on which there was a stuttering-like disfluency and of each fluent word immediately following such a disfluency was categorized. The proportion of words in each child’s speech sample that contained each category of phonologic difficulty was determined. The data showed that the proportion of disfluent and immediately following words in each type of phonologic difficulty closely resembled the proportion of words in the speech sample of the same type of difficulty. There were no significant differences between the subgroups of stutterers. We concluded, therefore, that the phonologic difficulty of the disfluent word, and the fluent word following it, did not contribute to fluency breakdown regardless of the childrens’ stuttering severity or phonologic ability.

Acknowledgment
The system for categorizing phonological difficulty was originally devised by Susan A. Moss and Elaine P. Paden and used in an unpublished doctoral dissertation (University of Illinois, 1986). This research was supported by grant #R01-DC00459 from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders; principal investigator, Ehud Yairi.
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