Apr 17, 2020

Iceberg or cut off - how adults who stutter articulate fluent-sounding utterances

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. LehaMartin Sommer


Whether fluent-sounding utterances of adults who stutter (AWS) are normally articulated is unclear. We asked 15 AWS and 17 matched adults who do not stutter (ANS) to utter the pseudoword "natscheitideut" 15 times in a 3 T MRI scanner while recording real-time MRI videos at 55 frames per per second in a mid-sagittal plane. All stuttered or otherwise dysfluent runs were discarded. We used sophisticated analyses to model the movement of the tip of the tongue, lips and velum. We observed reproducible movement patterns of the inner and outer articulators which were similar in both groups. Speech duration was similar in both groups and decreased over repetitions, more so in ANS than in AWS. The variability of the movement patterns of tongue, lips and velum decreased over repetitions. The extent of variability decrease was similar in both groups. Across all participants, this repetition effect on movement variability for the lips and the tip of the tongue was less pronounced in severely as compared to mildly stuttering individuals. We conclude that there is no major difference in the movement patterns of a fluent-sounding utterance in both groups. This encourages studies looking at state rather than trait markers of speech dysfluency.

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