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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 37-44

Phoneme monitoring abilities in bilingual adolescents and young adults who stutter

Bangalore Speech and Hearing Research Foundation, Dr. S.R. Chandrasekhar Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Archita Kumari
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisha.jisha_30_22

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Introduction: Stuttering occurs when the simultaneous and sequential programming of muscle movements required to produce a continuous flow of speech is disrupted. The generalized phoneme monitoring task, in which subjects detect target phonemes appearing anywhere in the test words, was shown to be sensitive to associative context effects. The aim is to investigate the phoneme monitoring abilities in L2 (English) among bilingual adolescents and young adults who stutter. This was a comparative study. Methods: Twenty-two bilinguals (11 persons with stuttering [PWS] and 11 persons with no stuttering [PWNS]) were considered within the age range of 10–16 years (adolescents) and 17–24 years (young adults). An adaptation of the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q) to the Indian context was done on all the participants. The phoneme of English with the highest occurrence was considered. A list of picturable bisyllabic words was made using these target phonemes in initial and medial positions. The audio of targeted phonemes was prerecorded using PRAAT software. In phase 1, PsychoPy software was used to present the targeted phoneme along with the familiarized picture and record the responses of the participants. Keys of the keyboard were assigned to yes/no. In phase 2, the same picture was presented, and the response rate and accuracy in naming the pictures shown were calculated. Descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA were done. Results: The results of the present study showed that bilingual PWNS took more time to identify the presence or absence of the target consonant when compared to bilingual PWS. Bilingual PWNS had a higher number of correct responses than bilingual PWS. With respect to the position of the target phoneme, incorrect responses were similar when the target phoneme was in the medial or initial position. Conclusion: The current study advances the theoretical understanding of the causes of stuttering, particularly by supporting the psycholinguistic causes of stuttering.

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