The effects of imitating complex and simple sentences on speech dysfluency rates among stuttering and non- stuttering Farsi-speaking children with the age range of 4-6 years: some initial observations

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department Theater of Fine Art, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Academic Member in Department of Biostatics, School of Rehabilition, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Abstract   Introduction: Past research on the relationship between stuttering and different linguistic factors has shown that in children, non-fluent utterances are more complex than fluent utterances. This study, using an imitation task, investigated whether or not complex and simple sentences exert an influence on the amounts of speech disfluency among stuttering Farsi-speaking children, and then compared the results with those obtained from non-stuttering controls. The results could have some implications for clarifying the nature of stuttering and shed some light on the question of appropriate treatment methods. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional descriptive-analytic study. The participants included 10 stuttering and 10 non-stuttering children between 4 and 6 years of age who spoke Farsi language as their native language. The participants in the two groups were matched by age and gender. The stimuli were two sets of sentences: one set consisted of 13 simple sentences and the other one included 10 complex sentences. The length of successive sentences was increased by adding one morpheme to each of them. Each participant was requested to repeat exactly what he/she had heard. To calculate the rate of disfluency in each utterance, the number of non-fluent words was divided by the total words of that utterance and the result expressed as a percentage. The disfluency percentages of simple and complex sentences, once among stutterers and non-stutterers separately and then between these two groups, were compared and analyzed using SPSS soft ware. Results: In both stuttering and non-stuttering children, there was a significant difference between rates of disfluency on simple and complex sentences (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The result of this study showed that complex sentences caused more disfluency rates than did simple sentences and it was the case for both groups of participants. Moreover, stuttering children had more disfluency rates than did non-stuttering children as the syntactic complexity of stimuli increased. Keywords: Stuttering, Children, Complex sentences, Simple sentences syntactic complexity.