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J Fluency Disord. 2016 Jun;48:1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.01.005. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Formant transitions in the fluent speech of Farsi-speaking people who stutter.

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Department of Speech Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.
Department of Speech Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA.



Second formant (F2) transitions can be used to infer attributes of articulatory transitions. This study compared formant transitions during fluent speech segments of Farsi (Persian) speaking people who stutter and normally fluent Farsi speakers.


Ten Iranian males who stutter and 10 normally fluent Iranian males participated. Sixteen different "CVt" tokens were embedded within the phrase "Begu CVt an". Measures included overall F2 transition frequency extents, durations, and derived overall slopes, initial F2 transition slopes at 30ms and 60ms, and speaking rate.


(1) Mean overall formant frequency extent was significantly greater in 14 of the 16 CVt tokens for the group of stuttering speakers. (2) Stuttering speakers exhibited significantly longer overall F2 transitions for all 16 tokens compared to the nonstuttering speakers. (3) The overall F2 slopes were similar between the two groups. (4) The stuttering speakers exhibited significantly greater initial F2 transition slopes (positive or negative) for five of the 16 tokens at 30ms and six of the 16 tokens at 60ms. (5) The stuttering group produced a slower syllable rate than the non-stuttering group.


During perceptually fluent utterances, the stuttering speakers had greater F2 frequency extents during transitions, took longer to reach vowel steady state, exhibited some evidence of steeper slopes at the beginning of transitions, had overall similar F2 formant slopes, and had slower speaking rates compared to nonstuttering speakers. Findings support the notion of different speech motor timing strategies in stuttering speakers. Findings are likely to be independent of the language spoken. Educational objectives This study compares aspects of F2 formant transitions between 10 stuttering and 10 nonstuttering speakers. Readers will be able to describe: (a) characteristics of formant frequency as a specific acoustic feature used to infer speech movements in stuttering and nonstuttering speakers, (b) two methods of measuring second formant (F2) transitions: the visual criteria method and fixed time criteria method, (c) characteristics of F2 transitions in the fluent speech of stuttering speakers and how those characteristics appear to differ from normally fluent speakers, and (d) possible cross-linguistic effects on acoustic analyses of stuttering.


Coarticulation; F2 transitions; Farsi language; Motor control; Stuttering

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