The Edinburgh Disfluency Group is an informal group of researchers, therapists and students who all share a common interest in one or other aspect of normal and/or pathological speech errors and disfluency. It provides members with a forum where it is possible to discuss recently published research relating to all aspects of disfluency and also to discuss our own ideas, hypotheses and plans for future projects etc.
Areas of study that are of particular interest to the group include:
- Interactive vs. Feedforward mechanisms of language and speech production.
- The interface between phonological encoding and articulation.
- The contributions of internal monitoring and of sensory feedback in speech error detection and repair.
- The effect of disfluencies on listener comprehension.
- The intentionality of disfluencies.
- The relationship between speech errors and disfluencies in normal and stuttered speech.
Research Methods include:
- Eyetracking – enables us to make objective measurements of speakers’ and listeners’ attention in relation to speech errors and disfluencies.
- Ultrasound and Electropalatography (EPG) – provide objective measures of the movements of the articulators.
- Electrophysiology - Event Related Potentials (ERP) – provide fine-grain details about timing of electrical activity in different areas of the scalp.
- Computational modelling - running simulations using cluster computing technology to investigate theories of human speech production.
Study designs involve:
- Participants with normal speech and impaired speech
- Bilingual participants
- Semi-structured dialogue – e.g. the HCRC “map task”
- Tongue-twisters – to elicit high levels of errors
Interested in Disfluency?
Edinburgh is one of the best places in the UK (and in Europe) to study, whether you are interested in graduate research into how speech works, or in speech therapy. Starting points include the Doctoral Programme in Psycholinguistics at the University of Edinburgh, and the (undergraduate and postgraduate) Speech and Language Therapy courses at Queen Margaret University.
The EDG mailing list is used to announce local (Edinburgh) meetings and other events, and currently includes about 20 members. A little information about some of the EDG regulars is given here. Please contact us if you would like to join the mailing list. You are also very welcome to join the wiki. Wiki members can come from anywhere, and can help us make this a premier resource for disfluency research by contributing to the wiki itself.