Language and Fluency Characteristics of Preschoolers’ Multiple-Utterance Conversational Turns The present study examined language and fluency characteristics of singleutterance (SU) and multiple-utterance (MU) conversational turns produced by 15 preschoolers who stutter and 15 age- and sex-matched preschoolers who do not stutter. Participants conversed with a parent in a play setting. Each interaction was videotaped and the participants’ resultant utterances ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2003
Language and Fluency Characteristics of Preschoolers’ Multiple-Utterance Conversational Turns
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kenneth J. Logan, PhD
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Contact author: Kenneth J. Logan, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, P.O. Box 117420, 358 Dauer Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7420.
    Contact author: Kenneth J. Logan, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, P.O. Box 117420, 358 Dauer Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7420.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: logan@csd.ufl.edu
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2003
Language and Fluency Characteristics of Preschoolers’ Multiple-Utterance Conversational Turns
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2003, Vol. 46, 178-188. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/014)
History: Received April 9, 2002 , Accepted August 7, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2003, Vol. 46, 178-188. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/014)
History: Received April 9, 2002; Accepted August 7, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

The present study examined language and fluency characteristics of singleutterance (SU) and multiple-utterance (MU) conversational turns produced by 15 preschoolers who stutter and 15 age- and sex-matched preschoolers who do not stutter. Participants conversed with a parent in a play setting. Each interaction was videotaped and the participants’ resultant utterances were transcribed and analyzed. Results indicated that the children’s utterances from MU-turns typically served assertive functions and were significantly longer and more linguistically complex than their utterances from SU-turns. Neither group showed a significant difference in disfluency rate for length-matched utterances from MU- and SU-turns. Similarly, there were no significant between-group differences in speaking-turn length or frequency of MU-turns. Although present findings do not support the hypothesis that MU-turns directly affect children’s fluency, they do suggest that MUturns are demanding for youngsters because they evoke relatively long and complex utterances. As such, conversational turn length seems to be an important variable for clinicians to consider when assessing and treating children who stutter.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a Faculty Development Award from the University of Florida. Thanks to Abbee Camen, Vanessa E. Fiscus, Jamie LaRussa, Lindsay Maxon, and Anne Schaedler for assistance with data collection and analysis.
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