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Stuttering and Language Complexity

Language complexity refers to the degree of difficulty associated with the linguistic structure and content of a sentence or a set of sentences. Sentences can be linguistically complex in syntax or grammar, in vocabulary, in phonological structure, or, more generally, in communicative demand. Sentences vary in length and motoric complexity, which interacts with linguistic complexity. For children who stutter, utterances of greater linguistic complexity, especially syntactic complexity, tend to be produced with more stuttering and more typical disfluency (e.g., pauses, interjections, revisions). Even children who do not stutter tend to produce more typical disfluencies on syntactically complex utterances than on simpler ones. Understanding the relationship between stuttering and language complexity in general is important from a theoretical perspective; many theories that attempt to explain the ...

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