Articulation rate and its relationship to disfluency type, duration, and temperament in preschool children who stutter

Victoria Tumanova, Patricia M. Zebrowski, Rebecca N. Throneburg, Mavis E. Kulak Kayikci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between articulation rate, frequency and duration of disfluencies of different types, and temperament in preschool children who stutter (CWS). In spontaneous speech samples from 19 CWS (mean age = 3:9; years:months), we measured articulation rate, the frequency and duration of (a) sound prolongations; (b) sound-syllable repetitions; (c) single syllable whole word repetitions; and (d) clusters. Temperament was assessed with the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (Rothbart et al., 2001). There was a significant negative correlation between articulation rate and average duration of sound prolongations (p< 0.01), and between articulation rate and frequency of stuttering-like disfluencies (SLDs) (p< 0.05). No other relationships proved statistically significant. Results do not support models of stuttering development that implicate particular characteristics of temperament as proximal contributors to stuttering; however, this is likely due to the fact that current methods, including the ones used in the present study, do not allow for the identification of a functional relationship between temperament and speech production. Findings do indicate that for some CWS, relatively longer sound prolongations co-occur with relatively slower speech rate, which suggests that sound prolongations, across a range of durations, may represent a distinct type of SLD, not just in their obvious perceptual characteristics, but in their potential influence on overall speech production at multiple levels. Learning outcomes: Readers will be able to describe the relationship between stuttering-like disfluencies, articulation rate and temperament in children who stutter, and discuss different measurements of articulation rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Articulation rate
  • Childhood stuttering
  • Disfluencies
  • Prolongations
  • Speech
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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