DiSS-LPSS Joint Workshop 2010

The 5th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech
The 2nd International Symposium on Linguistic Patterns in Spontaneous Speech

Tokyo, Japan, September 25-26, 2010

“Um...I don’t see any”: The Function of Filled Pauses and Repairs

Hannele Nicholson (1), Kathleen Eberhard (1), Matthias Scheutz (2)

(1) Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, USA
(2) Department of Computer Science and Informatics, University of Indiana-Bloomington, USA

We investigate disfluency distribution rates within different moves from an interactive task-oriented experiment to further explore the suggestion by Bortfeld et al. [1] and Nicholson [2] that different types of disfluencies may fulfill varying functions. We focus on disfluency types within moves, or speech turns, where a speaker initiates something compared to a response to such a move. We find that filled pauses (FPs) such as um or uh fulfilled an interpersonal role for participants while repairs occurred out of difficulty.

Index Terms. disfluency, dialogue, dialogue moves, language production


  1. Bortfeld, H., Leon, S., Bloom, J., Schober, M., Brennan, S. “Disfluency Rates in Conversation: Effects of Age, Relationship, Topic, Role and Gender”. Language and Speech, 44(2). 2001
  2. Nicholson, H., Bard, E.G., Lickley, R. J. Proc. of DiSS’05: Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech, ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop, Aix-en-Provence. 2005.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nicholson, Hannele / Eberhard, Kathleen / Scheutz, Matthias (2010): "“um...i don’t see any”: the function of filled pauses and repairs", In DiSS-LPSS-2010, 89-92.