Normal Disfluency in Pre-schoolers: Silences, Pauses, and Repetitions

Document Type: Research article

Authors

Dept. of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Languages, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Delving into the amazing and confounding language of four-, five-, or six-year olds, who dexterously and quite diligently use language for a myriad of purposes has always been intriguing to the pundits of first language acquisition. This scrutiny was an attempt to unravel some features germane to the normal disfluency in the preschoolers’ language. Normal disfluency is justifiably deemed to occur during periods of accelerated speech development (Guitar, 2013( and, unlike stuttering- a pathological condition-is a temporary condition. Over the years, researchers have investigated speech disfluencies of normally fluent young children in order to better understand the expected speech behaviors of young children but they have mainly focused on disfluencies of speech of English speaking children from Anglo-European, African-American, Hispanic, and Spanish cultures. Literature review proved there is not enough information regarding normal disfluency in Farsi speaking children. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the speech disfluencies in Farsi speaking Iranian preschoolers. The study was conducted in a kindergarten in Tehran in which from each age group 6 kids (3 boys and 3 girls) were randomly selected. Samples of their speech were recorded, carefully transcribed, and analyzed. A comparison was made among the three age groups as far as the in-mind categories were concerned (spontaneous speech, description, explanation, interpretation, and narration). Furthermore, in each category, the nature of the disfluency (repetition, silence, or filler) and the purpose behind its application (planning, reformulation, or replacement) was identified.

Keywords


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