Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Ronald Netsell


stuttering, covert speech, overt speech, inner speech, rehearsal, speaking rate

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Speech production for typical speakers is a seemingly effortless transition from thoughts or emotions to words and sentences. For persons who stutter (PWS), this transition can be effortful and emotionally distressing. Typically, fluent speakers develop a verbal thought and express it without conscious effort. Such spontaneous speech is not rehearsed, while other forms of speech are rehearsed. The rehearsals take place with "inner speech" (talking to yourself inside your head). In the present study, the rate of spontaneous speech of PWS and typical (TYP) participants was determined from inner (covert) speech and spoken (overt) speech. Compared to the overt condition, both groups produced more syllables per second (SPS) in the covert condition. In the overt condition, the PWS group tended to be slower than the TYP group. It was tentatively concluded that PWS are relatively fluent with covert speech, and have difficulty in the execution stage.


© Elizabeth Anne Ashley

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