Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 1, No 2 (2010)

The communicative intent of stuttered utterances

Courtney Timpson Byrd, Geoff Coalson, Clara Bush
Issued Date: 25 Jan 2011


The purpose of the present study was twofold: (1) to determine if reported differences in speech fluency between assertive versus responsive speech acts persist when the length and complexity of those acts are controlled for and (2) to explore disfluent speech production across the subtypes of speech acts that comprise the two broad speech act categories of assertive and responsive. Child utterances were coded for communicative intent using Fey’s taxonomy (1986) and for length and complexity. Results revealed that when grouping speech acts into assertive versus responsive, it is the length and complexity, rather than the communicative intent of the utterance that contributes to disfluent speech. Findings also reveal there are specific speech act subtypes that do not differ in complexity, but do differ in amount of speech disfluency. Thus, the communicative intent of the utterance does appear to contribute, at least, in part to difficulties maintaining fluent speech.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v1i2.253


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