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Mental Effort, Coordination of Speech Movements, and Speech Fluency

Hans-Georg Bosshardt; Waltraud Ballmer; Andreas Henning

It is investigated how the execution of speech movements and disfluencies are influenced when the speaking task has to be performed concurrently with a secondary mental task. More specifically it is investigated whether the speech of persons who stutter and of persons who do not stutter is differentially affected by the secondary task. Preliminary results suggest that persons who stutter and persons who do not stutter are able to speak in a "supervised form" and thereby voluntarily can reduce their stuttering rates. However, when speaking under dual-task conditions this supervised form of speaking cannot be maintained any further and consequently under these conditions the stuttering rate increases. In order to get information about the processes and subsystems that are involved in speech production the effects of systematically controlled secondary tasks are presently being investigated.

Effects of Linguistic Planning on Text and Sentence Structure [1994 - 1996]

Hans-Georg Bosshardt; Waltraud Ballmer-Omar; Christine Köpper

In these projects it will be described how the natural production of texts and sentences is affected by the discourse task and by concurrently performed secondary tasks. Particularly, the effects of attention-demanding and short-term memory tasks on speech fluency, semantic and syntactic complexity of utterances are investigated. It is assumed that thematic planning processes reduce the fluency of speech production and the complexity of utterances. In addition the moderating effects of the speaker's age and short-term memory capacity on these processes are investigated.