Hesitation Phenomena

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  • Topic: Chocolate, Types of chocolate, Abstract object
  • Pages : 13 (3630 words )
  • Download(s) : 191
  • Published : December 22, 2010
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Hesitation phenomena is one of two types of pauses that occur during our speech and the other type is breathing pauses. Although hesitation does not have a linguistic function, it plays a role in the study of speech production and speech planning. There are three main categories of hesitation: 1- silent pauses,  2- filled pauses, which composes of non-linguistic or non-lexical vocalizations and the most common ones are: umm, ah and er. 3- speech disturbances such as slips of the tongue, stuttering, repeating, omitting or repairing speech.

     Psycholinguists have paid special attention as to where these pauses -whether silent or filled- occur in our speech. Some studies- like the one conducted by Boomer 1965- found that pauses are more frequent after the first word in the phonemic clause. On the other hand, some studies found that most pauses occur before important lexical words. Even though the findings of these studies goes to different directions, it has one thing in common that it suggest that speech planning and speech production are processes that happen in a parallel manner.

     In this experiment subjects are asked to perform tasks on speaking spontaneously and reading aloud as well as talking about a concrete object and an abstract concept. All topics are determined by the experiment conductors. The aim of this experiment is to ascertain whether the frequency of hesitation is higher in one of the tasks and to find whether hesitation occurs mostly in clauses or between them.

    All subjects participants in this experiment are undergraduate females ages 20-24 and speak English as a second language. Experiments conducted on 5 subjects.

Methods :

We've applied our experiments systematically putting in considerations the rules we must follow in order to get clear results.

First of all we've chosen three different topics for our experiments :

( Reading aloud Vs Spontaneous speech ):1

• We've chosen ( Chocolate production ) as a topic that the participants should talk about , a passage which is 17 lines including difficult concepts and lexical words .

• Then we've decided to have a standardized duration of recording each data which is one minute .

• The participants included in this experiments will read the passage , at the same time we prepares a recorder to record the speaker while she's talking .

• One important aspect that we had to put into consideration is that the recording should be 100% clear in order to be easy for us for analyzing the speech .

• After the speaker finish reading the passage, here comes our rule to analyze the record tape putting in our minds the types of hesitation pauses such as " pauses , complex pauses , filled pauses and word lengthening "

• After that the speaker should speak spontaneously about chocolate , we prepares our tape recorder and a stop watch because in this step the participants are allowed to talk only for 1 minute. Sometimes we get forced to interrupt the speaker because of the one-minute limit.

2 ( Concrete Vs Abstract ):

In this experiment we've chosen two different general topics that the speaker should talk about :

Concrete : Food
Abstract : Democracy

• Before the speaker started to talk about the Concrete topic which is food we should prepare a recorder and stop watch.

• The speaker must talk for 1 minute about food.

• Then, we will replay the sound clip and write our comments.

• And when we come to the Abstract topic which is democracy, we will follow the same procedure.

By conducting those experiments, including their steps systematically, we will be provided with results that will help us in drawing a clear, final conclusion that we wish to reach.


|Speaking spontaneously |Reading aloud | |….I don’t know much...
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