Orofacial Movements Associated With Fluent Speech in Persons Who Stutter This study was intended to replicate and extend previous findings that (a) during fluent speech persons who stutter (PS) and those who do not (NS) differ in their vocal tract closing movements (L. Max, A. J. Caruso, & V. L. Gracco, 2003) and (b) ratios relating lip and tongue speed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2004
Orofacial Movements Associated With Fluent Speech in Persons Who Stutter
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael D. McClean
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Stephen M. Tasko
    Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Charles M. Runyan
    James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: michael.mcclean@wmich.edu
  • Contact author: Michael D. McClean, PhD, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. E-mail: michael.mcclean@wmich.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2004
Orofacial Movements Associated With Fluent Speech in Persons Who Stutter
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2004, Vol. 47, 294-303. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/024)
History: Received February 3, 2003 , Accepted September 22, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2004, Vol. 47, 294-303. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/024)
History: Received February 3, 2003; Accepted September 22, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

This study was intended to replicate and extend previous findings that (a) during fluent speech persons who stutter (PS) and those who do not (NS) differ in their vocal tract closing movements (L. Max, A. J. Caruso, & V. L. Gracco, 2003) and (b) ratios relating lip and tongue speed to jaw speed increase with stuttering severity (M. D. McClean & C. R. Runyan, 2000). An electromagnetic system was used to record movements of the upper lip, lower lip, tongue, and jaw of 43 NS and 37 PS during productions of a nonsense phrase and a sentence. Measurement and analysis of movement speeds, durations, and ratios of lip and tongue speed to jaw speed were performed on fluent productions of a nonsense phrase and sentence. Statistical comparisons were made between PS with low and high stuttering severity levels (LPS and HPS) and NS. Significant variations across groups in movement speed and duration were observed, but the pattern of these effects was complex and did not replicate the results of the two earlier studies. In the nonsense phrase, significant reductions in lower lip closing duration, jaw closing duration, and jaw closing speed were seen in PS. In the sentence task, HPS showed elevated tongue opening and closing durations. For tongue opening in the sentence, LPS showed elevated speeds and HPS showed reduced speeds. The elevated speeds for LPS are interpreted as a contributing factor to speech disfluency, whereas the reduced speeds and increased durations in HPS are attributed to adaptive behavior intended to facilitate fluent speech. Significant group effects were not seen for the speed ratio measures. Results are discussed in relation to multivariate analyses intended to identify subgroups of PS.

Acknowledgments
Data acquisition on this study was carried out in the Audiology and Speech Center at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., and data measurement, analysis, and manuscript preparation was carried out at Western Michigan University. The research was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant DC 03659 and approved by the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Human Use Committee, under Department of Clinical Investigation Work Unit 2585. All participants enrolled in the study voluntarily agreed to participate and gave written and informed consent. The opinions or assertions herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.
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