Do Filled Pauses Enable Listeners To Predict Upcoming Speech?
Caitlin Krendler Dissertation 2012.doc (132Kb)
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Naturally produced discourse is often different to that used in many psycholinguistic studies in that it is disfluent. Research has shown that disfluencies occur more when new information is being referred to, and that listeners are able to make use of this fact by using a speaker’s disfluency in order to predict upcoming speech. However, such studies have involved the use of multiple disfluencies, as filled pauses, hesitations and prolonged words often occur together. In the present study, filled pauses were inserted into fluent sentences to investigate whether this effect is present when this aspect of disfluency has been isolated. There was no significant difference between fixations on new and previously mentioned items when disfluency was present in the sentences, thus indicating that the prediction effect is a result of some other aspect of disfluency.