Coarticulation and vowel centralization in French and Italian stuttering adults and children

Many studies on stuttering focused on degrees of coarticulation in fluent speech as a way to observe speech motor control (Van Riper, 1982; Wingate, 2002; Sussman et al., 2011). Findings based on ?F2 and locus equation have shown various behaviors, mainly depending on the place of articulation of the consonant, but also on prosody, word stresses, speech rate and language. In Verdurand et al. (2013), French and Italian stutterers tend to coarticulate less than fluent speakers, with a significant role of the language spoken. Concerning the area of vocalic triangles (AVT), smaller values were found for stutterers in some studies (Klich and May, 1982; Blomgren, Robb and Chen, 1998), whereas no significant difference in vowel centralization was found (Prosek et al., 1987). The AVT of stutterers
does not seem to decrease when speech rate increases, as opposed to what is seen in fluent population (Hirsch et al., 2009). These phenomena could be considered as strategies to try to prevent stuttering events (Van Lieshout et al., 2004); therefore, children who stutter (CWS) and adults who stutter (AWS) might show different patterns of coarticulation as those strategies may not be installed yet. This present works aims to compare coarticulation of stutterers according to their age, between a population of school-age French and Italian children and adults. The corpus used was recorded with 40 French speakers (10 AWS and 10 fluent adults, and 8 CWS and 12 fluent children) and 39 Italian speakers (11 AWS and 10 fluent adults, and 8 CWS and 10 fluent children) (Pendeliau-Verdurand, 2014). Each subject had to repeat syllables (CV with C = {/b/, /d/, /g/} and V = {/a/, /i/, /u/}) and isolated vowels (/a/,
/e/, /i/, /o/, /u/). All fluent syllables were kept and manually annotated. For each subject, formants were measured and used to calculate the AVT on isolated vowels and the k slope for each consonant (/b/, /d/, /g/) using the
locus equation (Lindblom, 1963). First results on Italian adult speakers have shown that there was no
significant difference between the AVT of Italian stutterers and the one of Italian fluent speakers. This supports the results that have been found (Prosek et al., 1987). We are currently analyzing data of Italian children speakers, French adult and children speakers, in order to compare the results to those obtained for Italian adult speakers.
Concerning intra-syllabic coarticulation, k slopes of French and Italian child speakers are being estimated so that we can find out if the difference found between adults in (Verdurand et al., 2013) also exists between CWS and fluent children, and if the role of language is already significant at their age.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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Pendeliau Marine
Tissot-Dupont Anais
Rossato Solange
Zmarich Claudio
2nd International Conference On Stuttering, pp. 204–206, Roma (I), 15-17/10/2015
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Ritratto di Claudio Zmarich
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