The impact of syllable structure complexity on stuttering frequency for bilinguals and multilinguals who stutter
Ononiwu, Chisaokwu Aturuchiuka
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between language dominance and the frequency of stuttering, and between syllable structure complexity and the frequency of stuttering, in bilingual and multilingual adults who stutter. Three adults who stuttered completed three speaking sessions each. Speech samples were obtained during monologue and oral paragraph readings in English and in another language. Reading passages contained controlled syllable complexity patterns. Individual data analyses showed that two of the three participants stuttered more in their non-dominant language. No consistent relationship was found between syllable structure complexity and stuttering frequency. This study replicated some previous findings that persons who stutter will stutter more in their non-dominant language; it is also consistent with previous findings of inconsistent results in this area. The lack of a consistent relationship between syllable structure complexity and stuttering frequency contradicts previously published suggestions as to the importance of phonological variables in stuttering. Future research should examine functional brain involvement when speaking several languages to determine the fundamental nature of stuttering and to serve as an aid to developing clinical implications.