Recent work has begun to focus on the role that individual differences in executivefunction and intelligence have on the production of fluent speech. However, isolating theunderlying causes of different types of disfluency has been difficult given the speed andcomplexity of language production. In this study, we focused on the role of memoryabilities and verbal intelligence, and we chose a task that relied heavily on memory forsuccessful performance. Given the task demands, we hypothesised that a substantialproportion of disfluencies would be due to memory retrieval problems. We contrasted memoryabilities with individual differences in verbal intelligence as previous work highlightedverbal intelligence as an important factor in disfluency production. A total of 78participants memorised and repeated 40 syntactically complex sentences, which wererecorded and coded for disfluencies. Model comparisons were carried out using hierarchicalstructural equation modelling. Results showed that repetitions were significantly relatedto verbal intelligence. Unfilled pauses and repairs, in contrast, were marginally(p < .09) related to memory abilities. The relationship in all caseswas negative. Conclusions explore the link between different types of disfluency andparticular problems arising in the course of production, and how individual differencesinform theoretical debates in language production.
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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