This is the first study to investigate the behavioral nature (topography) of stuttering in Cantonese. Cantonese, a Sino-Tibetan language, is both tonal and syllable-timed. Previous studies of stuttering topography have mainly been in Western languages, which are mainly stress-timed. Methods: Conversational speech samples were collected from 24 native Cantonese-speaking adults who stuttered. Six consecutive stuttering moments from each participant were analyzed using the Lidcombe behavioral data language (LBDL). A complexity analysis based on the LBDL was developed to indicate the proportion of multiple-behavior stuttering moments for each participant. Results: There was no significant difference in the frequency of the 7 LBDL behaviors. Almost half the stuttering moments across participants were reported as complex, containing more than 1 stuttering behavior, and stuttering complexity correlated significantly with stuttering severity. Conclusions: These preliminary findings require replication because of their important theoretical and clinical implications. Differences in topography across languages have the potential to contribute to our understanding of the nature of stuttering. Clinically, the recognition of such differences may assist practitioners in identifying stuttering, for example when screening for early stuttering. The LBDL complexity score developed in this study has the potential to be used in other languages.
Law T, Packman A, Onslow M, To C, K, -S, Tong M, C, -F, Lee K, Y, -S, The Topography of Stuttering in Cantonese. Folia Phoniatr Logop 2017;69:110-117