Linguistics Senior Research Projects

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Listener's Perceptions, Stuttering, Sociolinguistics, Responses to Stuttering


Stuttering is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes disruptions in the normal flow of speech. Often, the disorder is accompanied by anxiety, stress, and discomfort in communication. Due to prominence of the disorder, stuttering can cause discomfort for both the listener and speaker. While some factors, such as level of fluency, familiarity with the disorder, and openness about the disorder can influence listener perceptions, the risk of negative stereotyping is high. In the following study, listener perceptions of stuttering are measured in a Christian, college-aged environment. 31 participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about stuttering. Of the 31, 6 participated in an observation session and then completed an interview. The survey results demonstrated that stuttering had a moderate to small impact on the listener. The observation session revealed a variety of listener responses to stuttering and the interview gave participants an opportunity to explain perspectives. During the interview process, about half maintained that stuttering would have little to no effect and half argued that it would affect the relationship and the perception of the stutterer. The prevailing response to stuttering was one of both sympathy and admiration.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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