Atypical Syntactic Processing in Individuals Who Stutter Evidence From Event-Related Brain Potentials and Behavioral Measures Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2003
Atypical Syntactic Processing in Individuals Who Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth M. Cuadrado
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Christine M. Weber-Fox
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Christine Weber-Fox, PhD, Purdue University, Audiology and Speech Sciences Department, Heavilon Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: weberfox@purdue.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2003
Atypical Syntactic Processing in Individuals Who Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 960-976. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/075)
History: Received August 1, 2002 , Accepted February 11, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 960-976. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/075)
History: Received August 1, 2002; Accepted February 11, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 30

Syntactic processing was explored in individuals who stutter (IWS). Grammatic-ality judgments and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were obtained while participants read sentences, half containing verb-agreement violations. Gram-maticality judgments for an offline verb-agreement task did not differ between IWS and normal speakers (NS). However, judgment accuracy of IWS for the online task was lower than that of NS, particularly for verb-agreement violations that occurred in longer and more syntactically complex sentences. Further, while NS exhibited a classic P600 ERP response to verb-agreement violations, the P600s of IWS were reduced in amplitude and distribution. The behavioral and ERP results are consistent with the hypothesis that underlying mechanisms mediating language processing, including those related to postlexical syntactic reanalysis, may operate atypically in IWS even in the absence of speech production demands.

Acknowledgments
Special thanks to Dr. Anne Smith and Dr. David Kemmerer for their helpful comments on this project. Also, we would like to thank William Murphy for his help recruiting participants who stutter, Dr. Pat Deevy for her assistance with stimuli development, and Dr. Lisa Goffman for her helpful comments on a previous version of the article. This study was completed as a master’s thesis by the first author. This work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (DC00559).
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