An Investigation of Speech Disfluencies of Bilingual Urdu-English
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Bilingual Urdu-English (UE) children who do not stutter (CWNS) are known to exceed the diagnostic criteria for developmental stuttering based on monolingual English speakers during their developmental age. Because of this, this population is at a great risk of being misdiagnosed as children who stutter (CWS). The purpose of this current study is to examine the frequency and types of speech disfluencies in school-age bilingual Urdu-English (UE) children who do not stutter (CWNS) during narrative and conversational language samples. This study compared the frequency and types of speech disfluencies of Urdu-English (UE) CWNS to those of Spanish-English (SE) CWNS from Rincon, Johnson, and Byrd (2020) during narrative and conversational language samples. The current study was an expansion of Naqvi (2019) to include a larger sample of Urdu-English speaking children and address other limitations identified in this previous study. Participants included bilingual Urdu-English children (6 CWNS) ranging from 5 years to 7 years and 11 months that were recruited from the greater Houston, Texas area. Findings indicated that the current diagnostic criteria for developmental stuttering, which is based on Monolingual English Speakers, are not appropriate for bilingual Urdu-English CWNS. Findings suggests that across both U-E CWNS and S-E CWNS both met the diagnostic stuttering criteria of 3% stutter-like disfluencies per total number of words spoken for 2 of the 4 samples, in both narrative. Secondly, UE-CWNS presented with stuttering-like disfluencies that are based on repetition including sound syllable repetition and whole word repetition, as well as audible sound prolongation. Lastly, U-E CWNS and S-E CWNS both exhibited comparable types of speech disfluencies.