Original Research

Vocal tract dynamics in an adult stutterer

Lesley Wolk
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 28, No 1 | a351 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v28i1.351 | © 1981 Lesley Wolk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 November 1981 | Published: 11 November 1981

About the author(s)

Lesley Wolk, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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The present study was motivated by the clinical observation of "laryngeal spasms" during dysfluency in an adult female  stutterer. The flexible fiberoptic nasolaryngoscope was employed in an attempt to assess this phenomenon objectively. Findings from fiberscopic and spectrographic investigations provided evidence for a disturbance in laryngeal behaviour, and in turn served to determine the nature of the treatment programme. Asymmetry of the vocal folds  and partial abductory laryngeal behaviour, reflecting  a conflict between adductory and abductory forces, characterized the dysfluency  in this patient. A subjective evaluation after treatment revealed a reduction in both severity and frequency of stuttering behaviour. Furthermore, fiberscopic examination carried out after treatment revealed an absence of the laryngeal disturbances noted previously. Results are considered in terms of vocal tract dynamics in stuttering and its clinical applicability.


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