Letter to the Editor  |   October 2010
Phonological Neighborhood and Word Frequency Effects on the Stuttered Disfluencies of Children Who Stutter: Comments on Anderson (2007)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peter Howell
    University College London
  • Contact author: Peter Howell, University College London - Gower Street, Department of Psychology, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom. E-mail: p.howell@ucl.ac.uk.
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Letter to the Editor   |   October 2010
Phonological Neighborhood and Word Frequency Effects on the Stuttered Disfluencies of Children Who Stutter: Comments on Anderson (2007)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research October 2010, Vol.53, 1256-1259. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0142)
History: Accepted 12 Feb 2010 , Received 20 Jul 2009 , Revised 18 Jan 2010
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research October 2010, Vol.53, 1256-1259. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0142)
History: Accepted 12 Feb 2010 , Received 20 Jul 2009 , Revised 18 Jan 2010

Purpose: This letter comments on a study by Anderson (2007)  that compared the effects of word frequency, neighborhood density, and phonological neighborhood frequency on part-word repetitions, prolongations, and single-syllable word repetitions produced by children who stutter. Anderson discussed her results with respect to 2 theories about stuttering: the covert repair hypothesis and execution planning (EXPLAN) theory. Her remarks about EXPLAN theory are examined.

Results: Anderson considered that EXPLAN does not predict the relationship between word and neighborhood frequency and stuttering for part-word repetitions and prolongations (she considered that EXPLAN predicts that stuttering occurs on simple words for children). The actual predictions that EXPLAN makes are upheld by her results. She also considered that EXPLAN cannot account for why stuttering is affected by the same variables that lead to speech errors, and it is shown that this is incorrect.

Conclusion: The effects of word frequency, neighborhood density, and phonological neighborhood frequency on part-word repetitions, prolongations, and single-syllable word repetitions reported by Anderson (2007)  are consistent with the predictions of the EXPLAN model.

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