Fluency and Its’ Bases


S.R. Savithri (Author)

Series: Research Advances in Communication Studies

This book is written in response to several demands. Of course, the information presented in it is available in several other books and journal articles on fluency and stuttering. Nevertheless, the book puts together information that most books and journal articles have not considered in the literature commonly available in India, with the exception of articles in international journals. This information will be helpful to graduate students, researchers, and faculty, I hope. Several books have provided extensive literature on particular topics, but a comprehensive compilation is not available. Therefore, this book is written.
Stuttering is a heterogenous disorder of speech, and unlike other speech disorders, it has much variability in terms of time, situation, a person with whom the Persons With Stuttering (PWS) are communicating etc. Also, it appears that there may be sub-groups among PWS. Several hypotheses have been postulated to understand normal speech production, but this area is still naïve as none of the theories address all of the questions related to stuttering and its treatment. To understand and diagnose stuttering, it is extremely important to know about fluency. Thus, this book covers definitions of fluency, disfluency and dysfluency in chapter 1, fluency development in normal children in chapter 2, the anatomical and physiological bases of fluency in chapter 3, the acoustic basis of fluency in chapter 4, genetic basis in chapter 5, and linguistic basis in chapter 6. Of course there are additional bases of fluency, such as psychological or prosodic, which are not covered in the book. The reason is that Children With Stuttering (CWS), especially in the initial stages, may not have any psychological basis, and prosody- intonation, stress, and rhythm – is difficult to measure. Yet, some parts of prosody like stress and rhythm are covered as fluency enhancers in chapters 1 and 2. Relevant journal articles are reviewed and presented where necessary. I thought that in the last chapter, I would try synthesizing all the information presented in the first six chapters. However, the views of authors are so diverse that there are probabilities of sub-groups within PWS. The data so far collected on typical children is mostly in English and it is insufficient to build a database in English or other languages. The data in English may not be useful to other languages owing to variations in phonetic and syllabic structure, stress and rhythm. Hence, a multicentric and multilingual database in typical children and adults is warranted.
Though the book is titled Fluency, most of the literature comes from experiments on stuttering, or what could have contributed to fluency failures in PWS. From abnormal fluency, we are trying to deduce an understanding of normal fluency in CWS and PWS.
Further, as I have observed, spectrograms and glottograms of fluency failures (repetitions) of PWS, reveal that the repetitions may be because PWS are not reaching the target phoneme and hence they keep iterating speech over and again to reach the target phoneme, which they may or may not achieve. These are mostly on respiratory, laryngeal, and articulatory efforts, neural commands, and may be the lack of coordination of these sub-systems. Most of these so called repetitions are on stop consonants and hence, the listener may be unable to differentiate the bursts, aspirations, and voicing of various stop consonants as they are very minute events. For example, a burst may be of a duration of 3-11 ms. Therefore, more careful observations on these aspects are warranted.
The book is an attempt to put together what we really know about fluency and its clinical applications. The final goal in the research of fluency is a complete understanding of the speech production system in typical children and adults, which is unavailable at present. But something valuable is better than nothing, and several scientists have provided it.



Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of Tables

Chapter 1. Fluency, Disfluency, Dysfluency

Chapter 2. Development of Fluency

Chapter 3. Anatomical and Physiological Bases of Fluency

Chapter 4. Acoustic Bases of Fluency

Chapter 5. Linguistic Bases of Fluency

Chapter 6. Genetic Bases of Fluency

Chapter 7. Prosodic Basis of Fluency

Chapter 8. Psychological Basis of Fluency

Chapter 9. Synthesis of all Chapters

About the Author



“The comprehensive information contained in this book is a result of a collaboration of esteemed students and colleagues sharing years of clinical and research experience for the purpose of expanding knowledge and understanding of different facets related to speech fluency in children and adults. Culminating decades of innovative teaching and research by an acknowledged master of the profession, Dr. S.R. Savitri’s book crystallizes into a unified whole, a multidisciplinary subject of broad scope, great richness, and enormous practical importance. Each chapter in this book provides the necessary foundations for students, clinicians and researchers. Must-read primer for anyone who is interested in carrying out evidence-based practice with their clients with fluency disorders should have a copy of this book and refer to it frequently.”
-Teralandur K. Parthasarathy, Ph.D., Former Professor and Chair, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL, USA

Fluency and Its’ Bases is written by Dr. S. R. Savithri, a highly accomplished and multi award winning researcher, clinician and educator in the area of Speech sciences and Speech pathology. Stuttering is a complex speech disorder, and, to appreciate the complexities of this disorder, one must have a good understanding of fluency. In this book, Fluency and Its Bases, Dr. Savithri has done an excellent job in analyzing fluency from a multidimensional perspective. This is the first comprehensive book to analyze and summarize the body of work done on fluency both nationally (within India) and internationally. This comprehensive book on fluency and its disorders is an essential reading for students, teachers and researchers in the field of communication disorders. This book, organized into eight main chapters and a summary in chapter nine, provides a comprehensive coverage of fluency. Starting with a clear explanation of fluency and its development, the reader is then guided through various bases of fluency including relevant theories and literature. These chapters elucidate bases of fluency including anatomical and physiological, acoustic, genetic, linguistic, psychological, and prosodic bases. Readers will appreciate the history of research as well as the current state of the art research regarding the various dimensions of fluency.” -Sreedevi Aithal, PhD, MSc., MPH., M(Aud)SA, Consultant Audiologist, Adjunct lecturer- James Cook University, Adjunct lecturer – University of Queensland, Department of Audiology, Townsville University Hospital, Australia

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