The Effects of Gated Speech on the Fluency of Speakers Who Stutter
It is known that the speech of people who stutter improves when the speaker’s own vocalization is changed while the participant is speaking. One explanation of these effects is the disruptive rhythm hypothesis (DRH). The DRH maintains that the manipulated sound only needs to disturb timing to affect speech control. The experiment investigated whether speech that was gated on and off (interrupted) affected the speech control of speakers who stutter. Eight children who stutter read a passage when they heard their voice normally and when the speech was gated. Fluency was enhanced (fewer errors were made and time to read a set passage was reduced) when speech was interrupted in this way. The results support the DRH.