Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine whether differences exist between young English- and Korean-speaking children who stutter (CWS) in the loci of stuttering. Method: Participants were 10 Korean-speaking and 11 English-speaking CWS between the ages of 3 and 7 years. Participants produced narratives while viewing various picture scenes and a wordless picture book. Results: Findings indicated that Korean-speaking CWS stuttered more on content than function words whereas English-speaking CWS stuttered more on function than content words. Furthermore, both Korean- and English-speaking CWS tended to stutter more on utterance-initial words. These findings appear to be related to the differences in linguistic/syntactic structures between Korean and English. Specifically, in the Korean-speaking CWS's narratives, most utterance-initial words (73.60 %) were content words whereas in the English-speaking CWS's narratives, most utterance-initial words (83.57 %) were function words. Conclusion: These preliminary findings, although in need of replication with a larger sample size, seem to suggest that the word class (i.e., content/function words) contributions to stuttering loci are more language-specific whereas the word position (i.e., utterance-initial position) contributions to stuttering loci are more language-nonspecific. Given that the true characteristics of stuttering may be rather language-nonspecific than language-specific, further research may need to focus more on stuttering loci related to word position than word class.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the University of South Alabama Faculty Development Council Research Funds, support that the authors greatly appreciate.
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.
- Function words
- Loci of stuttering