Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech (DiSS'03)

September 5-8, 2003
Göteborg, Sweden

Prosodic Features of Four Types of Disfluencies

Guergana Savova (1), Joan Bachenko (2)

(1) Medical Informatics Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
(2) Linguistech Consortium, Oxford, NJ, USA

We present a corpus-based approach for using intonation and duration to detect disfluency sites. The questions we aim to answer are: what are the prosodic cues for each disfluency type? Can predictive models be built to describe the relationship between disfluency types and prosodic cues? Are there correlations beiween the reparandum onset and offset and the repair onset and offset? Is there a general prosodic strategy? Our findings support four main hypotheses: 1) The Combination Rule: A single prosodic feature does not uniquely identify disfluencies or their types. Rather, it is a combination of several features that signals each type. 2) The Compensatory Rule: If there is an overlap of one prosodic feature, then another cue neutralizes the overlap. 3) The Discourse Type Rule: Prosodic cues for disfluencies vary according to discourse type. 4) The Expanded Reset Rule: Repair onsets are dependent on reparandum onsets and reparandum offsets. The limitation of the current study is the relatively small corpus size. Further testing of our proposed hypotheses is needed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Savova, Guergana / Bachenko, Joan (2003): "Prosodic features of four types of disfluencies", In DiSS'03, 91-94.