The Inner Speech of Persons who Stutter Ronald Netsell, PhD, Elizabeth Ashley, MS, Klaas Bakker, PhD Missouri State University-Springfield, MO Background Method: Speaking Rate Results: Speaking Rate •Inner speech is defined here as “talking to yourself inside your head.” •Participants. Seven adult PWS and seven (age/gender matched) TYP controls served as participants. •Are persons who stutter (PWS) fluent with inner speech? Is their rate of inner speech the same as typical (TYP) speakers? •Procedures. Participants first generated covert sentences by saying “the first thing that comes to mind.”Participants then said the same sentence aloud. 30 sentences were generated in both conditions. The mean of 30 sentences was the criterion measure. •Preliminary results with 20 TYP speakers showed no difference in the rate of covert (inner) and overt speech (Brock & Netsell, 2008) •PWS reportedly rehearse their speech (use inner speech) more than typical (TYP) speakers (Daum, 2008). •There are conflicting reports on the usefulness of using rehearsal (inner speech) before speaking aloud. •Bluemel (1958) writes “Manifestly the inner speech patterns the outer speech, but often the inner speech itself is non-fluent.” (pp266-267). Inner speech fluency can be improved by miming the “good clear speech” of someone else. Purposes of the Present Study •Compare the rate of inner (covert) and overt spontaneous speech in PWS and TYP participants. •From participant questionnaires, provide estimates for the fluency of inner speech in PWS. •Participants timed their sentences [covert start/stop key on a keyboard. or overt] with a •The duration of a sentence was divided by the number of syllables in the sentence, and speech rates were calculated and expressed as syllables per second, SPS. Method: Questionnaire The PWS filled out a questionnaire regarding the history and nature of their stuttering. The following items were of particular interest regarding inner speech. Do you ever stutter when rehearsing inside your head (i.e. using inner speech)? Yes _______ No _________ If yes, please circle the most appropriate percentage of time you stutter when rehearsing inside your head what you’re going to say (i.e. using inner speech): In everyday conversations: 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 When anxious or nervous: 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Table 2. As shown in Table 1, •PWS and TYP speakers did not differ in the rate of inner (covert) speech. •PWS and TYP speakers did not differ in the rate of inner (overt) speech. •PWS were significantly slower in the overt condition compared to covert condition. •TYP speakers were not different in speech rate for the two conditions. Table 1. Group means (standard deviations) and Chi Square p-values for covert (C) and overt (O) speech of persons who stutter (PSW) and typical controls (TYP). Speech values are in syllables per second. PWS-C 5.0 (1.2) TYP-C 5.7 (1.9) p .498 PWS-O 3.3 (1.2) TYP-O 4.5(1.0) .174 PWS-C 5.0 (1.2) PWS-O 3.3 (1.2) .0001 TYP-C 5.7 (1.9) TYP-O 4.5 (1.0) .235 Results: Questionnaire Table 2. Questions and Responses of PWS Participants A = severity of your stuttering during this study (1=mild, 2=mild/moderate, 3=moderate, 4=moderate/severe. 5=severe). B = severity of your stuttering overall (1=mild, 2=mild/moderate, 3=moderate, 4=moderate/severe. 5=severe). C = percentage of time you stutter. D = percentage of time you use inner speech. E = percentage of time you stutter when using inner speech. Presented to the International Motor Speech Conference, Savannah, Georgia (2010). For a copy of this poster contact [email protected] Participant PSW1 PSW2 PSW3 PSW4 PSW5 PSW6 PSW7 A B C D E 1 2 1 3 1 1 2 2 2 1 4 1 2 3 30 30 10 70 10 30 20 30 40 10 60 10 10 20 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 Discussion •The inner speech rates of PWS and TYP were not significantly different. •The inner and overt speech rates of TYP speakers were not significantly different. •This does not mean the rates were the same. •PWS were significantly slower in overt speech compared to inner speech. •Six of the 7 PWS reported they were 100% fluent with inner speech, and the seventh reported he was 90% fluent. •The self-reported most severe stutterer (PSW4) said he was 100% fluent with inner speech. •The speech rates were self-timed and the questionnaire responses, obviously, were selfreport. •The addition of more participants with the inclusion brain imaging and electrophysiologic recordings are needed. References Daum, B. (2008). Personal Communication. Bluemel, C. (1958). Stuttering: a psychiatric viewpoint. J. Speech Hearing Dis. 23: 263-267. Brock, M. & Netsell, R. (2008). The rate of inner speech. Meeting of the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Osage Beach, MO. Acknowledgment This poster presentation was developed from the MS thesis of the second author.