Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech (DiSS'01)

August 29-31, 2001
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Idiosyncratic Fillers in the Speech of Bilinguals

Caroline L. Rieger

University of British Columbia, Canada

This paper introduces a never before described strategy used by bilinguals to fill hesitation pauses. This strategy proved so unique that it was given the name ‘idiosyncratic filler.’ It describes a filler type that is produced unusually often by one individual when hesitating. It is usually a particular lexical filler that is used as often as or more often than all other lexical fillers combined. Idiosyncratic fillers are as flexible as, but more ‘prestigious’ than quasi-lexical fillers and they are used by bilinguals in their non-native language as an overgeneralization and to avoid the incessant production of ‘uhs’ and ‘uhms.’

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rieger, Caroline L. (2001): "Idiosyncratic fillers in the speech of bilinguals", In DISS'01, 81-84.