Inter- and intra-language acoustic analysis of autonomous fillers

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


The 4th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech, Aix-en-Provence, France, p.47-51 (2005)





The present work deals with autonomous fillers in a multilingual context. The question addressed here is whether fillers are carrying universal or language-specific characteristics. Fillers occur frequently in spontaneous speech and represent an interesting topic for improving language-specific models in automatic language processing. Most of the current studies focus on few languages such as English and French. We focus here on multilingual fillers resulting from eight languages (Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, European Portuguese, American English and Latin American Spanish). We propose thus an acoustic typology based on the vocalic peculiarities of the autonomous fillers. Three parameters are considered here: duration, pitch (F0) and timbre (F1/F2). We also compare the vocalic segments of the fillers with intra-lexical vowels possessing similar timbre. In this purpose, a preliminary study on French language is described.


Université de Provence; September 10-12, 2005