Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech (DiSS'01)

August 29-31, 2001
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The Usage of Fillers at Discourse Segment Boundaries in Japanese Lecture-Style Monologues

Michiko Watanabe

The University of Tokyo, CREST/JST, Japan

We examined whether fillers (filled pauses) in a Japanese lecture appeared more frequently after discourse segment boundaries (DSB) than after other sentence boundaries. Contrary to our hypothesis that fillers occur more often after DSB than after other sentence boundaries, the frequency of fillers in the first phrase after DSB did not differ statistically from that after other sentence boundaries. The location of fillers in the first phrase after DSB and after other boundaries did not show any clear difference, either. However, the types of fillers at the initial position of the first phrase after two kinds of boundaries were different; sentence initial ‘eto’ appeared exclusively at DSB. This result indicates that sentence initial ‘eto’ may help highlighting DSB, but not other types of fillers. Other kinds of fillers (‘e’, ‘ma’, ‘ano’, ‘sono’) seem to be mainly concerned with planning units of the utterance that are smaller than a sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Watanabe, Michiko (2001): "The usage of fillers at discourse segment boundaries in japanese lecture-style monologues", In DISS'01, 89-92.