10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

Classification of Disfluent Phenomena as Fluent Communicative Devices in Specific Prosodic Contexts

Helena Moniz (1), Isabel Trancoso (2), Ana Isabel Mata (1)

(1) FLUL/CLUL, Portugal
(2) INESC-ID Lisboa/IST, Portugal

This work explores prosodic cues of disfluent phenomena. In our previous work, we conducted a perceptual experiment regarding (dis)fluency ratings. Results suggested that some disfluencies may be considered felicitous by listeners, namely filled pauses and prolongations. In an attempt to discriminate which linguistic features are more salient in the classification of disfluencies as either fluent or disfluent phenomena, we used CART techniques on a corpus of 3.5 hours of spontaneous and prepared non-scripted speech. CART results pointed out 2 splits: break indices and contour shape. The first split indicates that events uttered at breaks 3 and 4 are considered felicitous. The second shows that these events must have flat or ascending contours to be considered as such; otherwise they are strongly penalized. Our preliminary results suggest that there are regular trends in the production of these events, namely, prosodic phrasing and contour shape.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Moniz, Helena / Trancoso, Isabel / Mata, Ana Isabel (2009): "Classification of disfluent phenomena as fluent communicative devices in specific prosodic contexts", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 1719-1722.