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«1.Magnitude Estimation of disfluency by stutterers and nonstutterers. Melanie Russell,1 Martin Corley,2 and Robin Lickley1 Speech and Language ...»

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In contrast, it is important to note that the continuity hypothesis was not directly supported: excerpts from dialogues between stuttering participants were rated as worse than those from nonstutterers, regardless of whether they were fluent or not, and regardless of who was doing the rating. In fact, there is evidence that both the disfluent and the fluent speech of stutterers may involve abnormal motor activity, both in laryngeal dynamics (e.g., Adams et al., 1985) and in the supralaryngeal organs (Wood, 1995). Using electropalatography, Wood found that stutterers produced greater degrees of lingual-palatal contact while producing alveolar plosives in fluent speech than did nonstutterers. It seems likely that such indications of muscular tension in the speech production apparatus (for example “hard contacts” in Van Riper’s (1982) terms) may be perceptible to listeners. If they were present in our experimental materials, subjects may have reflected this in their fluency judgements.

In itself, this supposition does not contradict a self-monitor based explanation of stuttering: sensitivity to the likelihood of stuttering, and a hypersensitivity to potential repairs, may be reflected in motor activity.

The study reported here is also limited in that it only addresses onset repetitions: one of several symptoms associated with stuttering. One reason for investigating repetitions first is because the silent interval can be measured objectively, and can therefore be used as a reliable measure of stuttering for clinicians (stutterers tend to have a shorter silent interval). Although Wijnen (2000) argues that the Vicious Circle hypothesis also applies to other symptoms such as prolongations and blocks, further research is needed before we are able to rule out counterexplanations of these manifestations. Another limitation is the number of subjects in this study: we are addressing this in a larger study currently nearing completion.

In contrast to the more ‘objective’ view presented here, Perkins (1995) claims that it is the speaker’s feelings of loss of control over their speech that truly defines stuttering, rather than particular types or frequencies of disfluencies. He argues that taking averages of averages and trying to obtain a quantitative description of an essentially qualititative issue loses most of the sensitivity and original quality of the data. The issue of subjectivity is of crucial importance in this area of research – to what extent can the diverse speech behaviour of stutterers be quantified in controlled experiments? We would contend that using a sufficiently sensitive task such as Magnitude Estimation avoids some of the pitfalls that Perkins envisages, and allows us to make important insights into the nature of stuttering. This approach has little to say about the pathology of stuttering (as yet, there is no account of what causes hypersensitivity in the self-monitor), but much to say about its manifestation, and by implication, about some possible therapeutic approaches. In particular, the findings reported here and in Vasic and Wijnen’s earlier chapter suggest that stuttering may be ameliorated by encouraging clients to tolerate, rather than attempt to avoid, the speech errors that all speakers are prone to make.

10.References Adams, F.R., Freeman, F.J., & Conture, E.G., (1985). Laryngeal dynamics of

stutterers. In R.F. Curlee, W.H. Perkins, (Eds.), Nature and treatment of stuttering:

New directions. San Diego, CA: College-Hill Press.

Anderson, A.H., Bader, M., Bard, E.G., Boyle, E., Doherty, G., Garrod, S., Isard, S., Kowtko, J., McAllister, J., Miller, J., Sotillo, C., Thompson, H. & Weinert, R. (1991). The HCRC Map Task Corpus. Language and Speech, 34, 351-366 Bard, E.G. & Lickley, R.J. (1998). Graceful Failure in the Recognition of Running Speech. Proceedings of The 20th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, pp.108-113.

Bard, E.G., Robertson, D. & Sorace, A. (1996). Magnitude estimation of linguistic acceptability. Language, Vol. 72, No. 1, 32-68, Blackmer, E.R., & Mitton, J.L. (1991). Theories of monitoring and the timing of repairs in spontaneous speech. Cognition, 39, 173-194.

Bloodstein, O. (1970). Stuttering and normal nonfluency: A continuity hypothesis. British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 1970, 30-39.

Branigan, H., Lickley, R.J. & McKelvie, D. (1999). Non-linguistic influences on rates of disfluency in spontaneous speech. Proceedings of the ICPhS, International Congress on Phonetic Sciences, San Francisco, pp 387-390.

Cohen, J.D., MacWhinney, B., Flatt, M. & Provost, J. (1993). Psyscope: A new graphic interactive environment for designing psychology experiments. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 25 (2), 257-271.

Cross, D.E. (n.d.) A systems approach to stuttering. Retrieved 30 October, 2002, from http://www.ithaca.edu/cross/SPECIALIZATIONS/STUTTERING/Stuthome.html Dell, G.S. and Repka, R.J., (1992). Errors in inner speech. In B.J. Baars (Ed.), Experimental slips and human error: Exploring the architecture of volition. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Hartsuiker, R.J., & Kolk, H.H.J. (2001). Error monitoring in speech production: A computational test of the perceptual loop theory. Cognitive Psychology, 42, 113-157.

Hartsuiker, R.J., Kolk, H.H.J. & Lickley, R.J. (2003). Stuttering on function words and content words: A computational test of the Covert Repair Hypothesis. In R.J. Hartsuiker, R. Bastiaanse, A. Postma, & F. Wijnen (Eds.), Phonological encoding and monitoring in normal and pathological speech. Hove (East Sussex): Psychology Press.

Keller, F. (2000). Gradience in grammar: Experimental and computational aspects of degrees of grammaticality. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Edinburgh.

Keller, F. & Alexopoulou, T. (2001). Phonology competes with syntax: Experimental evidence for the interaction of word order and accent placement in the realization of information structure. Cognition, 79, 301-372.

Laver, J.D.M., (1973). The detection and correction of slips of tongue. In V.A. Fromkin (Ed.), Speech errors as linguistic evidence. The Hague: Mouton.

Laver, J.D.M., (1980). Monitoring systems in the neurolinguistic control of speech production. In V.A. Fromkin (Ed.), Errors in linguistic performance: Slips of the tongue, ear, pen, and hand. New York, NY: Academic Press.

Levelt, W.J.M. (1983). Monitoring and self-repair in speech. Cognition, 14, 41-104.

Levelt, W.J.M. (1989). Speaking: From intention to articulation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lickley, R.J. (1998). HCRC Disfluency Coding Manual. HCRC Technical Report.

HCRC/TR-100, Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh.

Lickley, R.J. (2001). Dialogue Moves and Disfluency Rates. In Proceedings of DiSS ’01, Disfluency in spontaneous speech, ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop, University of Edinburgh, pp 93-96.

MacKay, D.G. (1987). The organization of perception and action: a theory for language and other cognitive skills. New York, NY: Springer.

MacKay, D.G. (1992a). Awareness and error detection: New theories and research paradigms. Consciousness and Cognition, 1, 199-225.

MacKay, D.G. (1992b). Errors, ambiguity, and awareness in language perception and production. In B.J. Baars (Ed.), Experimental slips and human error: Exploring the architecture of volition. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Melnick, K., Conture, E. & Ohde, R. (2003). Phonological Encoding in Young Children who Stutter. In R.J. Hartsuiker, R. Bastiaanse, A. Postma, & F. Wijnen (Eds.), Phonological encoding and monitoring in normal and pathological speech.

Hove (East Sussex): Psychology Press.

Perkins, W.H. (1990). What is stuttering? Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 55, 370-382.

Perkins, W.H. (1995). Stuttering and science. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group.

Postma, A. (2000). Detection of errors during speech production: a review of speech monitoring models. Cognition, 77, 97-131.

Postma, A. and Kolk, H.H.J. (1992). Error monitoring in people who stutter: Evidence against auditory feedback defect theories. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 35, 1024-1032.

Postma, A. & Kolk, H. (1993). The covert repair hypothesis: Prearticulatory repair processes in normal and stuttered disfluencies. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 36, 472-487.

Raaijmakers, J.G.W., Schrijnemakers, J.M.C., & Gremmen, F. (1999). How to deal with "The language-as-fixed-effect fallacy": Common misconceptions and alternative solutions.

Journal of Memory and Language, 41, 416-426.

Schiavetti, N., Sacco, P.R., Metz, D.E., & Sitler, R.W. (1983). Direct magnitude estimation and interval scaling of stuttering severity. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 26, 568Vasic, N. & Wijnen, F. (2003). Stuttering as a monitoring deficit. In R.J. Hartsuiker, R. Bastiaanse, A. Postma, & F. Wijnen (Eds.), Phonological encoding and monitoring in normal and pathological speech. Hove (East Sussex): Psychology Press.

Van Riper, C. (1982). The Nature of Stuttering. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Wijnen, F. (2000). Stotteren als resultaat van inadequate spraakmonitoring [Stuttering as the result of inadequate speech monitoring]. Stem-, Spraak- en Taalpathologie, 9.

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