Rates of Typical Disfluency in the Conversational Speech of 30-Month-Old Spanish–English Simultaneous Bilinguals Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the typical disfluency rates at 30 months old in a large group of simultaneous bilingual children and also investigate the relationships between disfluency rates and linguistic complexity (mean length of utterance in words [MLU-W]), vocabulary diversity (VocD), and speaking rate (utterances ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 19, 2018
Rates of Typical Disfluency in the Conversational Speech of 30-Month-Old Spanish–English Simultaneous Bilinguals
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shelley B. Brundage
    Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Hannah Rowe
    Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Disclosure: Shelley B. Brundage received financial compensation as a co-investigator on NIH 1R01HD068421 to Florida Atlantic University (PI: Hoff). Hannah Rowe has no conflicts to disclose.
    Disclosure: Shelley B. Brundage received financial compensation as a co-investigator on NIH 1R01HD068421 to Florida Atlantic University (PI: Hoff). Hannah Rowe has no conflicts to disclose.×
  • Correspondence to Shelley B. Brundage: brundage@gwu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sharon Millard
    Editor-in-Chief: Sharon Millard×
  • Editor: Nathan Maxfield
    Editor: Nathan Maxfield×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 19, 2018
Rates of Typical Disfluency in the Conversational Speech of 30-Month-Old Spanish–English Simultaneous Bilinguals
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2018, Vol. 27, 1287-1298. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0200
History: Received November 17, 2017 , Revised May 13, 2018 , Accepted August 8, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2018, Vol. 27, 1287-1298. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0200
History: Received November 17, 2017; Revised May 13, 2018; Accepted August 8, 2018
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the typical disfluency rates at 30 months old in a large group of simultaneous bilingual children and also investigate the relationships between disfluency rates and linguistic complexity (mean length of utterance in words [MLU-W]), vocabulary diversity (VocD), and speaking rate (utterances per unit time).

Method Fifty-three typically developing children who had been exposed to Spanish and English from birth participated in this descriptive study. The average percent input at home was 46% in English and 54% in Spanish. Outside the home, the children averaged 9 hr of exposure per week in each language. Spontaneous speech samples in both languages were obtained during play sessions between the children and a parent.

Results Nonparametric tests revealed a significant difference in typical disfluency rates across languages, with more children being disfluent in English and with a larger range of disfluency rates in English. The effect size for this difference was small. The children had significantly higher MLU-W in English; there were no differences in VocD or speaking rate between the 2 languages. Typical disfluency rate in Spanish was not significantly correlated with MLU-W, VocD, or speaking rate. Typical disfluency rates in English were correlated with MLU-W and VocD, but not with speaking rate.

Conclusion This article described the typical disfluency rates of a large group of simultaneous Spanish–English bilingual children at 30 months of age. The typical disfluency rates reported here are lower than those reported in the literature for monolingual children of similar ages. Clinical implications of these findings are addressed.

Acknowledgments
We thank Nan Bernstein Ratner and Cynthia Core for comments on an earlier version of this article. Portions of this article were presented at the 2016 ASHA Convention and the 2017 Oxford Dysfluency Conference.
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