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

Autism and the Use of Fillers: Differences between ‘um’ and ‘uh’

Rebecca Lunsford, Peter A. Heeman, Lois Black, Jan van Santen

Center for Spoken Language Understanding, OHSU, Beaverton, OR, USA

Little research has been done to explore differences in the use of the fillers ‘um’ and ‘uh’ between children with Autistic Spec- trum Disorder (ASD) and those with typical development (TD). Quantifying any differences could aid in diagnosing ASD, un- derstanding its nature, and better understanding the mechanisms involved in dialogue processing. In this paper, we report on a study of dialogues between clinicians and children with ASD or TD, finding that the two groups of children differ substantially in their use of ‘um’ but not ‘uh’. This suggests that these two fillers result from different cognitive processes.

Index Terms. disfluencies, fillers, autism

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lunsford, Rebecca / Heeman, Peter A. / Black, Lois / Santen, Jan van (2010): "Autism and the use of fillers: differences between ‘um’ and ‘uh’", In DiSS-LPSS-2010, 107-110.