Cross-Linguistic Factors in the Prediction of Stuttering Across Age Groups - The Case of German

Katharina Dworzynski and Peter Howell
University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAP


Cross-linguistic research can establish whether stuttering patterns are consistently associated with linguistic structures irrespective of their surface form; or whether difficult motor outputs lead to stuttering independent of the linguistic unit they occur in. A dissociation can be achieved because the same motorically-difficult structures may appear in different linguistic units in different languages. Linguistic factors known to predict dysfluencies in English are investigated in German children and adults who stutter (using Brown’s four factors and J akielski’s index of phonetic complexity). Some cross-linguistic differences were observed. Children were on the whole less affected by linguistic complexity than adults. Results are discussed in light of current theories of fluency failure.
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