Fluent Speakers’ Management of Prospective Communication Breakdowns: The Case of Stuttering

Stephanie Hughes, Farzan Irani, Derek Daniels


Stuttering is a disorder of verbal fluency that is often associated with such negative stereotypes as shyness and anxiety.  This study investigates typically fluent speakers’ advice to both people who stutter (PWS) and other fluent speakers as they interact with each other.  A written, open-ended, qualitative survey was administered to 135 members of the general public and analyzed thematically.  Results indicate that stuttering is a disorder which engenders cognitive and emotional reactions in fluent speakers as well as proscribed communication strategies designed to prevent and manage communicative breakdowns.  Fluent speakers appear to engage in high-level metalinguistic and metacognitive strategies as they interact with someone who stutters and believe that PWS should do the same.  Research implications for those who work with people who have communication disorders in educational and healthcare settings are discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v1n1p35


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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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