The Impact of Fluency and Hesitation Phenomena on the Perception of Non-native Speakers by Native Listeners of German

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015), the University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, p.0166.1-4 (2015)





Czech, Fluency, French, German as a foreign language, speech effects


The here presented and ongoing study addresses L2 fluency and hesitation phenomena in the context of speech effects in intercultural communication. It investigates the impact of fluency and hesitation phenomena on the perception of non-native speakers by native listeners of German. The first results underline the importance and salience of hesitation phenomena and fluency for speech effects and suggest a higher consideration of these features in future studies. Native recipients’ verbal reactions to L2 speech material show that they often make reference to features of L2 utterance fluency to explain how they perceive non-native speakers, their personality and their emotional state. Furthermore, Spearman’s rank correlation tests for a certain number of fixed perceptual categories prove significant correlations between perceived fluency and the attributes assured (r(309)=0.617, p<0.01), well prepared (r(303)=0.589, p<0.01), competent (r(305)=0.483, p<0.01), relaxed (r(307)=0.375, p<0.01) and nervous (r(309)=-0.322, p<0.01).


Glasgow, UK; August 10-14, 2015