Speech Motor Control in English-Mandarin Bilinguals who stutter
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Research examining bilinguals who stutter (BWS) is limited; in particular there are few studies that have considered examining features of speech motor control in BWS. The present study was designed to examine features of speech motor control in bilingual speakers of Mandarin and English. Speech motor control was examined through the acoustic analysis of speaking rate, voice onset time (VOT) and stuttering adaptation. Participants ranged from age between 9 and 27 years. Upon completion of a language dominance questionnaire, two BWS participants were found to be English dominant and three were Mandarin dominant. Each BWS participant was matched to age/sex matched control participants (BWNS). Results for the BWS participants found more stuttering in the less dominant language based on a measure of percentage of syllables stuttered. All of the BWS participants demonstrated stuttering adaptation and there was no significant difference in the amount of adaptation for Mandarin and English. There was no difference found between BWS and BWNS for speaking rate and VOT. In spite of the similarity between BWS and BWNS, speaking rate in Mandarin appeared to be faster compared to English. These findings suggest that speech motor control in BWS and BWNS are similar and current application of these findings to the clinical setting is discussed.