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

Stockholm, Sweden
August 21-23, 2013

Acoustical Characterization of Vocalic Fillers in European Portuguese

Jorge Proença (1), Dirce Celorico (1), Arlindo Veiga (1,2), Sara Candeias (1), Fernando Perdigao (1,2)

(1) Instituto de Telecomunicacoes, Coimbra, Portugal
(2) Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Coimbra, Portugal

This study attempts to acoustically characterize the most common filled pause vocalizations (or vocalic fillers) in spontaneous speech in European Portuguese: the near-open central vowel [ɐ] and the mid-central vowel [ə]. For this purpose we analyzed the spectral information of the vocalic fillers by estimating their first two formant frequencies as well as their duration properties. The vocalic fillers are taken from a large corpus of European Portuguese broadcast news' speech. We also compared the vocalic fillers with lexical vowels possessing similar timbre. No formant variation trend was attained for the vocalic fillers and a great overlap of formant values is observed. These results provide a base of information for understanding the most common vocalic fillers in European Portuguese spontaneous speech.

Index Terms: filled pauses, vocalic fillers, formant estimation, spontaneous speech, hesitations.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Proença, Jorge / Celorico, Dirce / Veiga, Arlindo / Candeias, Sara / Perdigao, Fernando (2013): "Acoustical characterization of vocalic fillers in European Portuguese", In DiSS-2013, 63-66.