Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
Recently, Wingate proposed a two-factor theory to explain stuttering adaptation. His first factor consists of the stutterer's psychophysiological adaptation to a situation. He designated prosodic (practice) variable as the second factor. For Wingate, prosodic adaptation involves the stutterer's becoming more practiced at making transitional articulatory movements and coordinating articulation and phonation. If such is true, then it logically follows that the more oral reading practice allowed the stutterer, the more he should adapt. We tested this hypothesis.
Our investigation included two conditions. The Control Condition consisted of five consecutive oral readings of a prose passage. In the Experimental Condition a matched passage was read orally on Trials 1 and 5 and silently on Trials 2, 3, and 4. The silent readings were introduced to limit oral reading practice and hence prosodic adaptation. Statistically significant adaptation occurred under both conditions. However, significantly more adaptation was evident in the condition involving the greatest number of oral reading trials.