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Vocal changes in stutterers and nonstutterers during high- and low-pitched speech

Authors
Journal
Journal of Fluency Disorders
0094-730X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0094-730x(81)90028-0

Abstract

Abstract This study was conducted to provide an indirect test of Wingate's “modified vocalization” hypothesis. In this formulation, the improved fluency that stutterers experience in various novel conditions is attributed to changes in the key correlates of stress, namely, fundamental frequency, vocal SPL, and rate. Normal speakers and stutterers read aloud in an habitual condition following instructions to read at higher- and lower-than-normal pitches. Objective measures were taken of subjects' fundamental frequency, fundamental frequency deviation, vocal SPL, and fluent reading rate. Disfluences were also counted. Findings showed that both stutterers and normals altered several features of voicing from the habitual to the two experimental conditions. Significant condition main effects emerged for fundamental frequency deviation, vocal SPL, fluent reading rate, and disfluency. The only meaningful between-group difference noted showed that the stutterers were more disfluent than the normals across all conditions. Results were interpreted as supporting Wingate's “modified vocalization” position and were discussed relative to how the vocal changes observed might act to promote fluency.

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