Title

Listener perceptions along a fluency-disfluency continuum: A phenomenological analysis

Department

Speech Language Pathology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct a phenomenological analysis (a qualitative research method) of unbiased listeners' perceptions to six speech samples across a fluency-disfluency continuum. A sample of 60 individuals heard only one sample chosen from three levels of fluent or three levels of disfluent speech. Listeners were interviewed following the presentation of the speech sample and their comments were analyzed with respect to the perception of the speaker's communicative effectiveness. Communicative effectiveness was supported by three phenomenological categories: speaker attributes, listener attributes, and story attributes. Five theme clusters further supported these categories: speech production, context, speaker identity, listener comfort, and story comprehension. The results showed that listener perceptions within theme clusters varied across the six speech samples. The results also showed that listeners differentially respond to a broad array of information in the speech signal (not simply fluency or disfluency). These findings support Traunmuller's (1994) modulation theory associated with information that can be obtained from the speech signal. Implications for the treatment of stuttering are also discussed.Educational objectives: The reader will learn (1) how listeners may have multiple and varying perceptual experiences depending upon where along a fluency-disfluency continuum a speech sample is heard; (2) how perceptual experiences are influenced by speaker, listener, and story attributes; and (3) how phenomenological analysis may expand our understanding of multifactorial issues associated with stuttering. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-6-2002

Publication Title

Journal of Fluency Disorders

ISSN

0094-730X

Volume

27

Issue

2

DOI

10.1016/S0094-730X(02)00126-2

First Page

135

Last Page

161

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