Anticipatory coarticulation in the speech of people who stutter


  • Giovanna Lenoci Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa



stuttering, speech motor control, coarticulation, second formant transitions, Locus Equations, Ultrasound Tongue Imaging


Stuttering is a fluency disorder that manifests itself through frequent interruptions in the smooth flow of speech. The disfluencies characterising stuttering strongly suggest the presence of breakdowns in the precisely timed and coordinated articulatory movements required for fluent speech. For these reasons, coarticulation has been one of the most studied aspects in relation to stuttering. Studies investigating coarticulation in speakers with impaired speech production have obvious importance for advancing our understanding of the disorder itself, which ultimately has implications for the diagnosis and treatment of speech impairments. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the most interesting experimental results emerged from the acoustic and articulatory study of lingual coarticulation in the speech of people who stutter. The last section of this chapter is devoted to present an ultrasound tongue imaging study developed with a group of Italian stuttering children and a matched control group. Preliminary results suggest that lingual coarticulation in the fluent speech of children who stutter presents some differences compared to normally fluent children.