ISCA Archive

Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech

Aix-en-Provence, France
September 10-12, 2005


Phrase-Final Rise-Fall Intonation and Disfluency in Japanese - A Preliminary Study

Jumpei Kaneda

Graduate School of Human Science, Kobe University, Japan

In Japanese conversations, rise-fall intonation with vowel lengthening often occurs on the final syllable of a phrase. This phrase-final rise-fall (PFRF) is a new type of intonation first reported in the 1960’s. Researchers consider PFRF intonation a discourse marker which functions to sharpen the phrase boundary and retain the utterance turn, but other phrase-final intonation such as phrase-final lengthening (PFL) can have a similar pattern. PFLs are recognized as a type of disfluent speech with similar characteristics to PFRFs in terms of final-lengthening and having discourse functions. Also from reports about the spontaneity of speech, we assume that PFRFs would have a relation with disfluency, as well as with PFLs. To examine this assumption, this paper attempts to show the co-occurrence relation between PFRF and disfluency in the same utterance. The results show that PFRFs and PFLs have a relation to posterior disfluent units and suggest that both indicate speech planning strategies. Further, this paper speculates that a difference between PFRF and PFL is a difference in the purposes of speech planning: the latter represents ongoing linguistic editing while the former indicates adjusting the utterance according to the interlocutor’s reaction. Disfluencies accordingly occur as effects from processes of speech planning.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kaneda, Jumpei (2005): "Phrase-final rise-fall intonation and disfluency in Japanese - a preliminary study", In DiSS-2005, 109-112.