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Predicting stuttering from linguistic factors for German speakers in two age groups.

Dworzynski, K; Howell, P; Natke, U; (2003) Predicting stuttering from linguistic factors for German speakers in two age groups. J Fluency Disord , 28 (2) 95 - 112.

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Abstract

Brown's factors [J. Speech Disorders 10 (1945) 181] predict the likely loci of disfluency in English-speaking adults who stutter. A word is more likely to be stuttered for these speakers if it is a content word, starts with a consonant, is positioned at the beginning of a sentence, and if it is a long word. These same factors were examined in native German-speaking children and adults who stutter. Speech data of 15 German adults and 17 children were coded according to Brown's factors. For the adult group, it was predicted that words starting with consonants would not lead to as much of an increase in disfluencies compared with English samples, because of cross-linguistic differences in syllable onset properties. It was predicted that stuttering would be more likely in later sentence positions in German because in German the verb is usually near the end of a sentence. There were no obvious reasons to expect differences on the two remaining factors, content words and word length. With children, it was hypothesised that Brown's factors that specify level of linguistic difficulty would not be such a good predictor of stuttering rate. Specifically, it was predicted that the difference in stuttering rate between function and content words would be lower in children. For the adults both word type (content/function) and word length increased stuttering rate significantly, whereas changes in stuttering rate for the other two factors were non-significant. It was also found that when word difficulty (based on a combined measure of all factors) increased, stuttering rate rose. With children, only the word-length factor was significant, and stuttering rate was not governed to the same extent by overall word difficulty. Conclusions are drawn as to the effect of linguistic and motor influences on stuttering.

Type:Article
Title:Predicting stuttering from linguistic factors for German speakers in two age groups.
Location:United States
Language:English
Keywords:Adolescent, Adult, Child, Female, Germany, Humans, Linguistics, Male, Middle Aged, Phonation, Psycholinguistics, Reproducibility of Results, Stuttering, Tape Recording, Task Performance and Analysis
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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