Examining the Presentation of Speech Disfluencies in Story Generation Narrative Samples of Bidialectal Children
Walker, Chenelle Lee
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Bilingualism affects fluency resulting in increased disfluencies when compared to monolingual speakers (Coalson, Pena, & Byrd, 2013). However, little is known about the impact of speech fluency when speaking two dialects, also referred to as bidialectalism (Lanehart, 2015; Lee-James & Washington, 2018). Johnson and Mills (2019) examined the speech disfluencies of bidialectal children during a story retell paradigm. Findings suggested that unlike bilingual Spanish-English speaking children, bidialectal children who do not stutter (CWNS) did not exceed or meet the criteria used to diagnosis developmental stuttering in children. However, story retell tasks do not necessarily mimic conversational speech which means that this could still be an issue for bidialectal children based on other forms of communication. The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of speech disfluencies exhibited during story generation narrative samples of bidialectal children who are classified as having (1) no variation from Mainstream American English (MAE), (2) some variation from MAE, and (3) strong variation from MAE as determined by the DELV. The subset of 42 African American (AA) participants (male=20, female=22; ages= 88-144 months) from Johnson & Mills (2019) were split into three groups: no variation from MAE (n=15), some variation (n=6), and strong variation (n=21). Findings indicate that all three of the talker groups exceeded 3% of stuttering-like disfluencies (SLDs). Additionally, all groups presented with blocks and prolongations similar to children who stutter (CWS). This suggests that the communication style of AA culture, not dialect may be related to fluency.