Can you hear these mid-front vowels? Formants analysis of hesitation disfluencies in spontaneous Hebrew

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


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


DiSS, filled pauses, formants, Hebrew, hesitation disfluency, LPC analysis, spontaneous speech


This study attempts to characterize the timbre of the default type of hesitation disfluency (HD) in Israeli Hebrew: the mid-front vowel /e/. For this purpose, we analysed the frequencies of the first three formants, F1, F2, and F3, of hundreds of HD pronunciations taken from The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (COSIH). We also compared the formant values with two former studies that were carried out on the vowel /e/ in fluent speech. The findings show that, in general, elongated word-final syllables and appended [e]s are pronounced with the same amount of openness as fluent [e], while filled pauses tend to be more open (lower F1), and more frontal (higher F2). Following these results, we suggest to use different set of IPA symbols, and not the phonemic mid-front /e/, in order to better represent hesitation disfluencies.


University of Edinburgh; August 8-9, 2015