Realizations of Linguistic Stress in Preschool Children Who Stutter and Controls

Ulrich Natke, Patricia Sandrierser, Claas P. Bendels, Reinhard Pietrowsky, and Karl Theodor Kalveram
Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine- University Dusseldorf Universitattsstr 1, 40225 Dusseldorf, Germany


The purpose of the study was to compare realizations of linguistic stress in stuttering and non- stuttering children. Participants were 24 children who stutter and 24 fluently speaking children aged 2.1 to 5.0 years. Controls were matched according to age and sex. In a picture naming task children produced 30 words with different prosodic patterns. Vowel duration was determined as one parameter characterizing linguistic stress for perceptually fluent long stressed, short stressed and unstressed syllables. It was found that children who stutter produced longer vowel durations in long stressed syllables than children who do not stutter. Results are discussed with regard to sensorimotor automation processes in early speech development.
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