The role of lexical tone in the trigger of stuttering: the Cantonese perspective
Invited conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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Linguistic stress has consistently been shown to be associated with stuttering. One of the acoustic correlates of linguistic stress is the variation in fundamental frequency. In tone languages, the variation of fundamental frequency on each syllable marks different lexical tones hence changes lexical meaning . It may be that the shift in fundamental frequency alone, as in lexical tone production, be sufficient to trigger stuttering.

Cantonese is a tone language that is spoken by many Asian people worldwide. It consists of six contrastive lexical tones. This is the first study to investigate the contribution of lexical tones to stuttering in Cantonese.

Twenty-four Cantonese-speaking adults who stutter participated in this study. The participants were presented with 13 Chinese characters that carry of all six Cantonese lexical tones. Each of these characters was embedded in a standard carrier phrase to reduce the influence of suprasegmental or linguistic stress. Two speech pathologist experienced in stuttering judged whether stuttering occurred on the target syllables.

Results indicated that stuttering was not associated with any one of the Cantonese lexical tones or between the level and the contour tones.

This is the first study that investigates the contribution of lexical tone to stuttering in Cantonese. Findings from this study suggest that changing the fundamental frequency at a syllable/character level may not be sufficient to trigger a stuttering moment. The necessary and sufficient factors to trigger a stuttering moment will be discussed in this presentation.
All Author(s) ListLaw T., Packman A., Onslow M., To C. K. S., Lee K. Y. S.
Name of Conference31st World Congress of the IALP
Start Date of Conference18/08/2019
End Date of Conference22/08/2019
Place of ConferenceTaipei
Country/Region of ConferenceTaiwan
Proceedings Title31st World Congress of the IALP Program Book
Place of PublicationTaiwan
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsspeech therapy, stuttering, lexical tone

Last updated on 2020-14-05 at 12:07