The 6th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech (DiSS 2013)

Stockholm, Sweden
August 21-23, 2013

Choosing a Threshold for Silent Pauses to Measure Second Language Fluency

Nivja H. De Jong, Hans Rutger Bosker

Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, The Netherlands

Second language (L2) research often involves analyses of acoustic measures of fluency. The studies investigating fluency, however, have been difficult to compare because the measures of fluency that were used differed widely. One of the differences between studies concerns the lower cut-off point for silent pauses, which has been set anywhere between 100 ms and 1000 ms. The goal of this paper is to find an optimal cut-off point. We calculate acoustic measures of fluency using different pause thresholds and then relate these measures to a measure of L2 proficiency and to ratings on fluency.

Index Terms: silent pauses, number of pauses, duration of pauses, silent pause threshold, second language speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jong, Nivja H. De / Bosker, Hans Rutger (2013): "Choosing a threshold for silent pauses to measure second language fluency", In DiSS-2013, 17-20.