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Part 3 Manual

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Please note, this is the text from the manual placed here for your convenience. The manual is also a work book and you will want to refer to it for other useful resources.


Simultaneously Counting Syllables and Stutters is arranged in the same format that you have become familiar with in Parts One and Two. Its purpose is to teach you to reliably and accurately count syllables and stutters concurrently. Because both speech rate and stuttering frequency are important to obtaining an empirical description of relevant dimensions of a speaker's speech pattern, it is obviously most economical to obtain both measures simultaneously and online.

A measure of stuttering frequency that is used often in published research and clinical reports and, therefore, the measure to be used through the remainder of this program, is percent syllables stuttered (% SS), i.e., the percentage of all syllables spoken that are stuttered. It is calculated by dividing the total number of stutters produced in a speech sample by the total number of syllables spoken in that sample, thus another reason for the syllable counting practiced in Part One. By thus calculating the proportion of spoken syllables that is stuttered, this measure adjusts simple stuttering frequency counts so that they take account of the number of syllables spoken. This makes possible direct comparison of stuttering frequencies in samples of different lengths and different speeds of speech. Stuttering severity would no doubt be judged to be quite different if a person were to stutter on 5 of 50 syllables spoken (10% SS) as opposed to 5 of 15 spoken syllables (33% SS).

A combination of the measures practiced thus far, speech rate (SPM) and stuttering frequency (% SS), describes important dimensions of a speaker's pattern of speaking, and provides a set of standard, empirical measures that can be used to assess and compare a client's speaking performance prior to and throughout all stages of treatment. In combination with a measure of speech naturalness (Part Four), a rather complete picture of a person's speech can be obtained.

What follows is a list of directions explaining how to get started counting syllables and stutters concurrently. Read through the list before performing any of the operations. Then return to #1 and carry out the directions.

  1. 1. As above, be sure the computer has been set up properly, as in Parts One and Two. Open each sample via Add Subject according to the sample number, starting with sample 31, and maintain the same Run Configuration selections used previously. The first samples are one minute in duration.
  2. 2. Listen to each sample for 30 seconds or so to become familiar with the speaker's speech pattern before you begin to count syllables and stutters.
  3. 3. Now you are ready to use your eye-ear-hand coordination to combine the measurement of syllables and stutters. Once the sample begins and you have activated the computer by pressing the space bar, depress the left mouse button for each nonstuttered syllable produced by the speaker, and depress the right mouse button each time you judge a moment of stuttering to have occurred. As you know, signaling the occurrence of a stutter by pressing the right mouse button will also automatically add one syllable to the syllable count. That is, it is assumed that when a speaker stutters, he or she is attempting to produce a particular syllable -- the syllable that is appropriate to the intended word -- and it is that syllable that is stuttered. Therefore, two events must be recorded: (l) the occurrence of the stutter, and (2) the occurrence of a spoken syllable (albeit a stuttered one). The computer records these two events simultaneously when the occurrence of a stutter is signaled. At the end of the sample, on the data summary screen, two totals are available: the total number of syllables spoken and the number of those that were stuttered. The computer uses these numbers to calculate SPM and %SS, also displayed on the data summary screen.
    Let's look again at the examples of different forms of stutters that were presented as illustrations in Part Two. In the sentences that follow, nonstuttered syllables, which would be noted by pressing the left mouse button, are indicated by dots, and stutters (stuttered syllables), which would be noted by one depression of the right mouse button, are indicated by continuous underlinings, the way they are shown in the transcripts. Beneath each line Ls and Rs (Left, Right) illustrate the order in which the mouse buttons would be pressed as the listener follows the speaker's ongoing speech. The total number of syllables and stutters that would be counted for each sentence is also indicated.
    Part 3 Illustration From Page 58 of the Manual
  4. 4. When you are ready to practice simultaneous counting of syllables and stutters, click Sample 31 on the menu, press the space bar when talker begins speaking, and use both the syllable and stutter mouse buttons as described above, until the sample is over. In Part Three, the first three samples are 1-minute long, the next three samples are 2-minutes long, and the last three samples are 3-minutes long. They vary randomly in regard to speech rate and stuttering frequency.
  5. 5. When the sample is completed, turn to the summary data sheet (located at the end of these Part Three instructions) to record your data from this sample. Note that the data sheet requires that you record the following data, all of which appear on the data summary screen:
    • total number of syllables spoken
    • syllables spoken per minute (in samples longer than 1 minute),
    • total number of stutters
    • percent syllables stuttered.
  6. 6. As before, if your data are not within the indicated range of acceptable scores, repeat the sample, referring to the accompanying transcript if you are not successful after three independent attempts. Record your data in the appropriate spaces on the data sheet for each attempt.
  7. 7. When your data are acceptable for one sample, move on to the next until you have completed Part Three (Steps 1 through 3, Samples 31 through 39).