hesitation in language

hesitation in language - HESITATION IN LANGUAGE 2...

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HESITATION IN LANGUAGE
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Hesitation is something that all people do, as many as hundreds of times a day. Our pauses are a manifestation of our own thought process; the process that occurs when someone speaks. Many of times pausing is subconscious: we may not actually acknowledge the fact that we have paused. There are two main categories of hesitation: unfilled pause and filled hesitation. An unfilled pause is merely a moment of silence, a short stoppage of speech between 200 and 250 milliseconds (Harley, 2001). Unfilled pauses are easier for researchers to detect, utilizing mechanical equipment that registers each pause, and records its duration. However unfilled pauses often occur naturally, with no direct correlation to lexical processing. In casual speech, an unfilled pause can happen anytime there is a change in speed, tone, or subject. These are called conversational turns, and in actuality there may be several separate pauses included in just one conversational turn. These pauses occur once every five to eight words (Goldman-Eisler 1958, 1968). The other type of pauses is called filled hesitations, and they are easier to detect with merely an untrained ear. A filled hesitation is a lapse in speech in which a sound is then substituted. The most common example of filled hesitation comes when a person utters “uh” or “um.” But a filled hesitation also includes the repetition of words, the stretching out of particular syllable, or the use of parenthetical remarks, such as “well. ..”, “I mean…” or “you know…”. (Harley, 2001). 2
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The analysis of these hesitations is mainly concerned with the frequency, duration, and function of pauses and other dysfluencies in speech. Simply put, a person hesitates when he or she begins speaking before they have fully planned the content of what exactly they intend to say. But it is deeper than that. When a person pauses, she is gathering her thoughts and planning what she will say. Pauses are often caused by uncertainty, and occur more often when a person is using unfamiliar or infrequent language. The frequency of pauses a person uses, as well as the duration of those pauses, is often determined by a person’s familiarity with language (Goldman-Eisler, 1958, 1968)
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hesitation in language - HESITATION IN LANGUAGE 2...

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