14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Prosodic Characteristics in Children with Stuttering or Autism during Reading and Imitation

Susan Meyers Fosnot, Sun-Ah Jun

Dept. of Linguistics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

This study investigates intonation and timing characteristics of autistic and stuttering children's speech in English. Twelve children ranging from 7 to 14 years of age (four subjects from three groups, autistic, stuttering, control) participated in this study. They were asked to read sentences and then to repeat them after the experimenter. Results show that stuttering subjects differed only slightly from normal control subjects in most measurements, though they show more variation. For both reading and imitation data, autistic children's speech was the most deviant from the control data in terms of intonational properties. Results also show that autistic children produced more pitch accents and phrase boundaries than control children, and often could not produce High boundary tone though they were able to produce High pitch accents. This implies that the two high tones may be produced with different articulatory and respiratory effort, supporting their distinct categorical status in the theory of intonational phonology.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fosnot, Susan Meyers / Jun, Sun-Ah (1999): "Prosodic characteristics in children with stuttering or autism during reading and imitation", In ICPhS-14, 1925-1928.