Characteristics of disfluency clusters in adults who stutter
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Therapy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Speech and Language Therapy
The phenomena of disfluency clusters have been examined in the speech of children who stutter (CWS) and children who do not stutter (CWNS). Little is known about disfluency clusters in the adult population. The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of disfluency clusters in adults who stutter (AWS). The participants were ten AWS ranging in age from 18 to 60 (mean age = 35), with a stuttering severity of 9 to 30% (mean = 19%). Each participant provided a conversational speech sample of at least 300 words. Analysis focused on disfluency type, utterance length, speaking rate, and perceptual measures. Findings indicated that utterances containing disfluency clusters were significantly longer than fluent utterances and the speaking rate of fluent utterances was found to be significantly faster than that of disfluent utterances. Collectively the results appear to support a linguistic interpretation of disfluency clusters. The clinical implications of the findings are discussed.