Um and uh as differential delay markers: the role of contextual factors

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Rose, Ralph


The 7th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech (DiSS 2015), Edinburgh, Scotland (2015)


contextual factors, delay, DiSS, filled pause


The English filled pauses uh and um have been argued to correspond respectively to shorter and longer anticipated delays in speech production. This study looks at some contextual factors that might cause this difference by investigating filled pause instances in monologue and conversation speech corpora. Results are consistent with previously observed delay differences and further show that discourse-level processing may influence differential delay marking though monologue results are more conclusive than conversation results. However, no evidence was found that lexical factors (word type, frequency) correlate with filled pause choice. The findings suggest a limited view of how speakers use filled pauses as delay markers: Not all contextual factors may trigger differential delay marking.


University of Edinburgh; August 8-9, 2015