Speech Effort Measurement and Stuttering: Investigating the Chorus Reading Effect Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate chorus reading’s (CR’s) effect on speech effort during oral reading by adult stuttering speakers and control participants. The effect of a speech effort measurement highlighting strategy was also investigated. Method Twelve persistent stuttering (PS) adults and 12 normally fluent ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2006
Speech Effort Measurement and Stuttering: Investigating the Chorus Reading Effect
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Roger J. Ingham
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Allison Warner
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Anne Byrd
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • John Cotton
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Contact author: Roger J. Ingham, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. Email: rjingham@speech.ucsb.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2006
Speech Effort Measurement and Stuttering: Investigating the Chorus Reading Effect
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 660-670. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/048)
History: Received August 12, 2005 , Accepted November 8, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2006, Vol. 49, 660-670. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/048)
History: Received August 12, 2005; Accepted November 8, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 14

Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate chorus reading’s (CR’s) effect on speech effort during oral reading by adult stuttering speakers and control participants. The effect of a speech effort measurement highlighting strategy was also investigated.

Method Twelve persistent stuttering (PS) adults and 12 normally fluent control participants completed 1-min base rate readings (BR–nonchorus) and CRs within a BR/CR/BR/CR/BR experimental design. Participants self-rated speech effort using a 9-point scale after each reading trial. Stuttering frequency, speech rate, and speech naturalness measures were also obtained. Instructions highlighting speech effort ratings during BR and CR phases were introduced after the first CR.

Results CR improved speech effort ratings for the PS group, but the control group showed a reverse trend. Both groups' effort ratings were not significantly different during CR phases but were significantly poorer than the control group’s effort ratings during BR phases. The highlighting strategy did not significantly change effort ratings.

Conclusion The findings show that CR will produce not only stutter-free and natural sounding speech but also reliable reductions in speech effort. However, these reductions do not reach effort levels equivalent to those achieved by normally fluent speakers, thereby conditioning its use as a gold standard of achievable normal fluency by PS speakers.

Acknowledgments
This study was made possible by a grant from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Research Committee. Special thanks are due to Kristin White, Cari Nicholson, Irene Seybold, and Danielle Brett for their contributions as research assistants in preliminary trials that contributed to the method and design of this study. Thanks are also due to Janis Ingham and Irene Seybold, who served as independent judges, and to Don Robin for thoughtful comments on our conclusions.
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