Stuttering Research: Variability In Fluency Across Readings

Lauren L Engel


This study looked for the presence of the consistency effect in the reading of non-stutterers. The consistency effect is present whenever a reader demonstrates disfluencies with the same words each time that they read a given passage. The consistency effect was first observed by Johnson and Knott (1937) in their study of people who stutter, and they found that participants tended to be disfluent on the same words that they had been disfluent on in previous readings of the same passage. Their study established that disfluencies are not random, and that some part of the speech sequence itself elicits disfluencies. The consistency effect has subsequently been confirmed by a number of other researchers including Johnson and Inness (1939), Neelley and Timmons (1967), Williams, Silverman, and Kools (1969a), and Tetnowski and Douglass (2008). The presence of the consistency effect in adult non-stutterers has, however, never been investigated to our knowledge. The results of this study will show the differences between the fluency behaviors of stutterers and non-stutterers which may eventually lead to discoveries of what causes stuttering.


stuttering; fluency; consistency effect

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