Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2004

Document Type


First Advisor

Dennis Galvan

Second Advisor

Robert Williams


This thesis aims to stimulate research on articulation disorders in American Sign Language. It discusses the controversy surrounding a clinical definition of stuttering, reviews the symptoms of stuttering in spoken languages, and examines theories of the etiology of stuttering. Ten well-connected individuals in the Deaf community were interviewed and presented a list of possible symptoms of stuttering in American Sign Language (ASL). (As a preliminary investigation, this study did not attempt to directly observe any stuttering in ASL.) Participants responded with how they thought symptoms might look in ASL and whether they had seen examples in real life. A refined set of hypothetical symptoms emerged from the interview process. Results support the existence of acquired and developmental stuttering in ASL, suggest that syntax-related stuttering may be directly observable, and encourage further research into stuttering in signed languages to test and sharpen understanding of the nature and etiology of articulation disorders in all languages.



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