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Clin Linguist Phon. 2012 Dec;26(11-12):946-61. doi: 10.3109/02699206.2012.728278.

Exchange of disfluency with age from function to content words in Brazilian Portuguese speakers who do and do not stutter.

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  • 1Department of Physiotherapy, Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences and Occupational Therapy, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the exchange of disfluencies from function words to content words with age in Brazilian Portuguese speakers who do and do not stutter. Ninety stuttering individuals and 90 controls, native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese, were divided into three age groups (children, adolescents and adults). The study method involved analyzing the occurrence of stuttering on content and function words based on spontaneous speech samples. Results indicated that children tend to be more disfluent on function words. With the increase in age, teenagers and adults who stutter presented a higher number of disfluencies on content words. These findings support the current literature, indicating that with the aging process, there is an exchange of disfluencies from function to content words. This shift in the disfluency pattern may account for a more advanced type of stuttering. The study also demonstrated that disfluencies in Portuguese speakers follow the same pattern of shifting from function to content words with age as for English speakers.

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