Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Kenneth O. St. Louis.


Research has suggested that people with fluency disorders, i.e., individuals who stutter, have difficulty with time estimation. A sub-group of fluency disorders are persons who clutter, whose speech is characterized by a rapid and/or irregular rate of speech that is accompanied by excessive disfluencies, abnormally placed pauses, and/or excessive coarticulation. One frequently reported symptom of cluttering is a lack of awareness of one's own cluttering, which may be related to rate deviations. It is possible that persons who clutter may also lack the awareness of the amount of time required to say something, and thus, demonstrate difficulty estimating the amount of time required for an utterance. To test this hypothesis, by pressing a computer mouse button, six adults who clutter and six matched controls estimated the time required to complete 50 self-formulated utterances after given a scenario prompt. An example was "Do you prefer cats or dogs and why?" Each estimated time was then compared to the actual amount of time required to say the utterance immediately upon releasing the mouse button. Although mean statistical differences did not differentiate cluttering and control groups, both groups overestimated time in general, and clutterers demonstrated a trend of overestimating more than controls. Individual cluttering-control pair differences revealed trends suggesting that two-thirds of each group overestimated speaking time, one-sixth underestimated speaking time, and the remaining one-sixth estimated speaking time fairly accurately. Additionally, participants who clutter had more variability in their estimated times when compared to controls, while actual times were more similar. These trends suggest that individuals who clutter have some disruption in their ability to estimate time. This may be caused by an internal time clock that is disrupted in some way, or due to an increase in time required to form an utterance.