Solidarity Research Project

A sociolinguistic study of the perception of stuttering in co-operation with the Newfoundland and Labrador Stuttering Association

Laura Tulk
Jonathon Garcin
Paul De Decker

In Summer 2020 Laura Tulk (BA Linguistics, 2020) was awarded a competitive Undergraduate Summer Student Internship Program (USSIP) grant to conduct a project called "A sociolinguistic study of the perception of stuttering in co-operation with the Newfoundland and Labrador Stuttering Association" under the supervision of Dr. Paul De Decker (Primary Investigator). 

The purpose of this study is to examine public perceptions of stuttering in order to challenge negative stereotypes towards people who stutter (PWS) and enhance the mandates and goals of the Newfoundland and Labrador Stuttering Association (NLSA). NLSA member and speech-language pathologist, Jon Garcin served as our primary consultant for PWS. 

PWS, the general public, and health professionals (e.g. speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, medical doctors, nurses, etc.) were invited to participate in an online survey about their perception of PWS. We are now in the process of analyzing this data for scholarly dissemination. This study was also designed to share the results with the NLSA to help establish support and services for PWS, their families, and community in Newfoundland and Labrador.

On behalf of the research team, study participants, and members of the PWS community, we are pleased to present the short-documentary video, "Getting the Words Out”, that highlights lived experiences as a PWS. It is intended to serve as a digital and social media tool to raise public-awareness around stuttering and to promote the mandate of the NLSA: to provide "support, friendship, and information to the stuttering community, instilling a sense of self-worth, which is often missing in the lives of people who stutter.”

We are currently planning an online meeting/Q&A in which the survey results will be presented and discussed. Information about the details of this meeting will be available on:

the NLSA webpage (
the MUN Department of Linguistics Facebook page (
the MUN Twitter page @MunLinguistics

We challenge you to Get the Word Out - dismantle and prevent social stigma around stuttering - by sharing this video! 

The USSIP funding and the research survey gave us a great start... but we feel it is just the beginning of a larger collboration. 

If you would like to know more about this project or for a high-res promotional poster (below), please contact Paul De Decker (pauldd AT mun DOT ca) or the NLSA via their website. 

JPG of Promotional Poster


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