A note on vowel centralization in stuttering and nonstuttering individuals

Michael Blomgren, Michael Robb, Yang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Inferences were made regarding vocal tract vowel space during fluently produced utterances through examination of the first two formant frequencies. Fifteen adult males served as subjects, representing separate groups of untreated and treated individuals who stutter and nonstuttering controls. The steady-state portion of formant one (F1) and formant two (F2) was examined in the production of various CVC tokens containing the vowels /i/, /u/, and /a/. Vocal tract vowel space was estimated three ways. The first analysis scheme involved measurement of formant frequency spacing. The second measure involved calculating the area of the vowel space triangle. The third measure was based on calculating the average Euclidean distance from each subject's midpoint 'centroid' vocal tract position to the corresponding /i/, /u/, and /a/ points on the vowel triangle. The formant frequency spacing measures proved to be most revealing of group differences, with the untreated stutterers showing significantly greater vowel centralization than the treated group and control group. Discussion focuses on the vocal tract articulation characterizing fluent speech productions and possible treatment implications for persons who stutter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1042-1051
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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