Intersyllabic Movement Timing in the Fluent Speech of Stutterers With Different Disfluency Levels The goal of this study was to identify possible differences in movement timing in the fluent speech of adult stutterers who show varying levels of speech disfluency. Strain gauge recordings of lip and jaw movements and electroglottographic recordings of laryngeal vibration were obtained in 31 subjects as they repeated simple ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1994
Intersyllabic Movement Timing in the Fluent Speech of Stutterers With Different Disfluency Levels
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael D. McClean
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Donna R. Levandowski
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Mary T. Cord
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Contact author: Michael D. McClean, PhD, Audiology and Speech Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 203075001. E-mail: mcciean@wrair-emh1.army.mil
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1994
Intersyllabic Movement Timing in the Fluent Speech of Stutterers With Different Disfluency Levels
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1994, Vol. 37, 1060-1066. doi:10.1044/jshr.3705.1060
History: Received February 14, 1994 , Accepted May 3, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1994, Vol. 37, 1060-1066. doi:10.1044/jshr.3705.1060
History: Received February 14, 1994; Accepted May 3, 1994

The goal of this study was to identify possible differences in movement timing in the fluent speech of adult stutterers who show varying levels of speech disfluency. Strain gauge recordings of lip and jaw movements and electroglottographic recordings of laryngeal vibration were obtained in 31 subjects as they repeated simple speech utterances. Measures of the duration and variability of intersyllablic articulatory events were analyzed in relation to speech disfluency level and history of speech treatment. As expected, movement durations were longer in subjects who had been through speech treatment. No significant associations were observed between timing durations and disfluency level. However, more disfluent subjects tended to show reduced variability in timing durations, an effect that was independent of speech treatment. This finding is interpreted in relation to previous observations on control systems that show instability and disfunction in association with reduced output variability. When disfluency level was measured during physiologic testing, duration interacted with speech treatment, with more disfluent subjects in the treatment group showing increased durations in their fluent speech. This effect is attributed to volitional control intended to facilitate speech fluency.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Department of Clinical Investigation, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, under Work Unit 2510, and was approved by the Center’s Human Use Committee. All subjects enrolled in the study voluntarily agreed to participate and gave written and informed consent. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the view of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense. We thank Audrey Chang for her advice on statistical analysis.
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