Date of Graduation

Spring 2011


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Klaas Bakker


hesitation, duration, location, fluency disorder, cluttering

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


The purpose of this thesis was to examine how silent hesitations in speech affect listener perceptions of speech fluency. Previous studies have examined how the placement of hesitations and their durations in spontaneous speech alters comprehension of a message. However, the duration and placement of silent hesitations has not been studied with respect to perceptions of speech dysfluency. The present findings revealed that speech samples with hesitations within clauses were rated more dysfluent than those with hesitations between clauses. The findings also demonstrated that samples with hesitations of 250 ms and 450 ms were rated more dysfluent and significantly different from samples that contained hesitations of 350 ms. This finding possibly suggests a possible perceptual threshold effect related to linguistic processing.


© Alexa Rae Stevens

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