Investigating disfluency in recordings of last speakers of endangered Austronesion languages in Taiwan

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


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


Austronesian, DiSS, lesser-documented unwritten language, pause finder, SpeechIndexer


The nearly three decades spent in Formosan language documentation produced hundreds of hours of recorded speech. In this paper, we show how the use of SpeechIndexer for transcribing and indexing the data visualises the problem of disfluency in the spontaneous narratives and dialogues. The semiautomatic alignment of speech and transcription needs to be adjusted manually each time when unpredictable pauses occur which are disfluencies, rather than markers of phrasal units. It is illustrated how the combination of SpeechIndexer’s pause finder with pitch measurements can help to pinpoint the difference of phrasal boundaries and pauses of disfluency.


University of Edinburgh; August 8-9, 2015