Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech (DiSS'01)

August 29-31, 2001
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Stuttering and Speech Monitoring

Nada Vasic and Frank Wijnen

Utrecht Institute for Linguistics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

In this paper, we would like to argue that stuttering represents inadequate monitoring of the speech production process. The model we are proposing is the vicious circle hypothesis. The stuttering speaker has a malfunctioning monitor whose three parameters, namely focus, effort, and threshold are inappropriately set.

In order to test our hypothesis, we tested 20 stuttering individuals in a dual task situation. The experiment consisted of three conditions: baseline where semi-spontansous speech was elicited and two dual-task conditions. First dual task was speaking and playiong a computer game at the same time where the processing resources were taken away from monitoring. The second dual task waqs designed to shift the monitor's focus away from habitual monitoring. Subjects were asked to monitor for a particular word in their speech. The preliminary results for our expeiment show that in the dual task condition the number of disfluencies decreased in relation to the number of words, which, in turn supports our prediction that distraction has a positive effect on fluency in the case of stuttering individuals.


Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vasic, Nada / Wijnen, Frank (2001): "Stuttering and speech monitoring", In DISS'01, 13-16.