An Approach to Studying Stuttering Reduction A Reply to Bloodstein Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   August 01, 1999
An Approach to Studying Stuttering Reduction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joy Armson
    Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   August 01, 1999
An Approach to Studying Stuttering Reduction
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 911-913. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.911
History: Received September 23, 1998 , Accepted February 24, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 911-913. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.911
History: Received September 23, 1998; Accepted February 24, 1999
In “A Postscript to Armson and Stuart” (1998), Bloodstein (1999)  argues that “the effect of artificial speech patterns and the altered auditory feedback effect may be one and the same phenomenon” because both conditions may result in the speaker's attention being drawn to the “strangeness of hearing oneself talk in an unaccustomed way.” In proposing that the agent of stuttering reduction is the same for different conditions of fluency enhancement, Bloodstein's approach is consistent with that established by Wingate (1976), although the specifics of his explanation differ. In contrast, we (Armson, Kalinowski, & Stuart, 1995; Armson & Stuart, 1998) have postulated that there may be more than one agent or factor responsible for stuttering reduction under different conditions of fluency enhancement. For example, we speculated that conditions involving artificial speech patterns or alterations in speech output (e.g., prolonged speech, rhythmic speech) may be governed by different processes from conditions that involve alterations to speech input (e.g., altered auditory feedback). It is readily apparent that the two categories of conditions differ with respect to which part of the output-input feedback loop of the speech production process is first affected. In addition, and more importantly, speech output changes such as rate reduction or rhythmic speech require some degree of conscious intent by the speaker and are therefore self-imposed and deliberate, whereas electronic changes to the speech signal are externally imposed and do not require conscious intent by the speaker. However, it was not solely on the basis of such differences in the conditions themselves that we speculated that the underlying processes may be different. Rather, we observed that the properties of stuttering reduction vary across the two categories of conditions, and we interpreted these variations to indicate that the processes responsible for the stuttering reduction effects may differ. Such properties pertain to extent of stuttering reduction and the degree of speech naturalness associated with stuttering reduction.
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