Research Notes

Nan Bernstein Ratner, University of Maryland, College Park, USA  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The FluencyBank initiative (https://fluency.talkbank.org) is the most recent arm of the international TalkBank initiative (https://talkbank.org), begun in 2016. A full account of its origins, rationale, aims and tools is available in Bernstein Ratner & MacWhinney (2018).

Briefly, FluencyBank, like other TalkBank projects, can be described in four major ways: 1) an archive of Internet-hosted, open-access research data from typical and fluency-impaired populations in numerous linguistic and cultural communities that can be shared by researchers world-wide to generate new and more generalizable research findings; 2) a set of coding conventions for transcribing fluency that will permit shared analysis of data among researchers and archive users; 3) free, open access computational tools [built into the TalkBank program CLAN] specific to research and clinical needs in fluency, such as fluency profiling; and 4) multi-media teaching resources for University-based instruction of future clinicians working with fluency disorders.

As with other TalkBank projects, all four components dynamically grow over time; CHILDES, the Child Language Data Exchange System, in its fourth decade of operation, contains thousands of records of children from dozens of language communities. Currently, the FluencyBank archive is under preliminary construction, and contains records from the Illinois Stuttering Research Project [in progress], three research corpora from Bernstein Ratner, and numerous pending contributions from major fluency research laboratories around the world. Coding conventions for fluency behaviors have been developed and are available in both the full and clinical transcription manuals at the site. The free program FluCalc currently generates a full fluency profile of both typical and atypical fluency behaviors, as well as the Ambrose and Yairi (1999) weighted SLD score to distinguish typical from stuttered fluency profiles. A program to identify linguistic attributes of disfluent words is pending shortly. The teaching site, with the help of the USA National Stuttering Association and International Cluttering Association, currently hosts almost 3 dozen interviews/read materials from adults who stutter, with protocols approved to gather teaching samples from children who stutter and speakers who clutter.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and not of the International Fluency Association.

References

Ambrose, N. G., & Yairi, E. (1999). Normative disfluency data for early childhood stuttering. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research42(4), 895-909. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10450909

Bernstein, N. R., & MacWhinney, B. (2018). Fluency Bank: A new resource for fluency research and practice. Journal of Fluency Disorders56, 69-80. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094730X17300931

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JFD

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