The functions of silent pauses in spontaneous Hungarian speech

Gyarmathy, Dorottya (2018) The functions of silent pauses in spontaneous Hungarian speech. PHONETICIAN, 115. pp. 53-71. ISSN 0741-6164


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Speech is occasionally interrupted by pauses of various lengths that are an essential part of human speech production. It is currently a matter of debate what exactly can be considered to be a pause, what the diverse forms are in which pauses can occur in speech, what their acceptable minimum and maximum durations are, and what kinds of functions they can have in speech. This study focuses on the analysis of the temporal structure of silent pauses in Hungarian spontaneous speech. We hypothesized that (1) silent pauses differ from each other in terms of their functions, (2) the various types of silent pauses exhibit different patterns of frequency and duration, and (3) the duration of silent pauses is partially determined by their syntactic positions. We differentiated silent pauses (S) occurring either in phrases or at phrase boundaries from pauses functioning as editing phases (E). The former type of pauses will be called ‘syntactical silent pauses’ while the latter will be referred to as ‘editing phase silent pauses’. We will subcategorize syntactical silent pauses as follows: (1) phrase boundary pauses, (2) within phrase pauses, (3) end of phrase pauses, and (4) utterance onset pauses. The subcategories of the editing phases depend on the type of disfluency surrounding the silent pause at hand. Our results confirmed all three hypotheses. The temporal data supported the claim that the function of the silent pauses directly affected their frequency of occurrence and their duration.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: spontaneous speech, silent pauses, editing phrase, syntactical silent pauses, function of silent pauses
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 12:33
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 08:57

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