Online Sentence Processing in Adults Who Stutter and Adults Who Do Not Stutter This study had two specific aims. The first aim was to investigate whether, during a silent reading task, persons who stutter encode phonological and semantic information more slowly than persons who do not stutter. The second aim was to investigate how the syntactic context of stimulus sentences influences the speed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1996
Online Sentence Processing in Adults Who Stutter and Adults Who Do Not Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hans-Georg Bosshardt
    Ruhr-Universität Bochum Bochum, Germany
  • Hans Fransen
    Ruhr-Universität Bochum Bochum, Germany
  • Contact author: H-G. Bosshardt, Fakultät für Psychologie, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, D-44780 Bochum, Germany. E-mail: hgb@kogs.psy.ruhr-uni-bochum.de
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1996
Online Sentence Processing in Adults Who Stutter and Adults Who Do Not Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 785-797. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.785
History: Received February 9, 1995 , Accepted February 29, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 785-797. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.785
History: Received February 9, 1995; Accepted February 29, 1996

This study had two specific aims. The first aim was to investigate whether, during a silent reading task, persons who stutter encode phonological and semantic information more slowly than persons who do not stutter. The second aim was to investigate how the syntactic context of stimulus sentences influences the speed of coding. Fourteen adult persons who stutter and 14 adult persons who do not stutter participated in a self-paced word-by-word reading experiment. While reading a prose text silently, participants monitored target words that were specified before the presentation of the text. The target words to be monitored for were phonologically similar, categorically related, or identical to a cue word. The influence of syntactic information on the word-monitoring reaction time was studied by presenting the text either as normal prose, in a syntactically correct but semantically anomalous version, or in random word order. The results suggest that the two groups are not different with respect to the speed of word identification but that persons who stutter retrieve semantic information more slowly than persons who do not stutter.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant no. 827/3-1 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). We would like to thank Eva Pegels-Wingendorf who was a staff member of the DFG project for one year and helped in planning, designing, and executing the experiment. We also gratefully acknowledge Markus Schumann for his very elegant programming solutions, Brigitte Gassier and Waltraud Ballmer-Omar for their stimulating discussions of the interpretation of the results of the experiment, and Donald Goodwin for correction of the English text. We would especially like to thank the following psychologists, who were very cooperative in permitting us to conduct the investigations in their Institutions for Speech Therapy: Mr. Schweppe of the Sprachheilzentrum Werscherberg in Bissendorf; Mr. Friedsam of the Landessprachheilzentrum in Meisenheim; and Mr. PruB of the Sprachheilzentrum NRW in Bonn. Parts of the research reported here were presented at the 1993 meeting of experimental psychology (TEAP) in Milnster, Germany.
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