By Soumya Joseph, Speech Language Pathologist
and student of the Master in Speech and Language Therapy
Speech disfluencies are widespread in spontaneous verbal communication. A normative disfluency reference across age will assist differential diagnosis of normal disfluency and beginning childhood stuttering, therefore, facilitating in planning the appropriate management program.
The objectives of the present study are to investigate 1) the frequency of disfluencies, and types of disfluencies exhibited by 3 – 5 year old typically developing Telugu speaking children, 2) whether age, gender or speech elicitation tasks have any impact on disfluencies.
24 typically developing Telugu speaking preschool children between 3 – 5 years were selected for the study. Three different speech elicitation tasks used are a general conversation, nursery rhyme recitation, and picture description. Speech samples were audio reordered and transcribed verbatim for the further analysis of 10 types of disfluencies.
Results indicated that 1) there is an insignificant difference in total disfluencies between age and gender. 2) There is a considerable difference among the percentage of disfluency across task. 3) There is a significant difference between the distributions of individual disfluencies.
The study suggests that disfluencies are greater as age increases (from 3 to 5 years old). Males showed the highest values of total disfluencies than females. Picture description task is more diffluent than other two speech elicitation tasks. Among the disfluencies, the pause has the highest frequency of occurrence regardless of age or gender.
The reader will learn about: 1) the impact of age and gender on the total frequencies of disﬂuencies in normal Telugu-speaking preschool children; 2) the total disfluencies as well as the type of disﬂuencies seen in these young children´s speech, and 3) the impact of speech elicitation tasks in different types of disfluencies in Telugu speaking normal preschool children.
Keywords: Disfluencies, pre-schooler, Telugu Speaking, Stuttering.
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