Meaning and use: a pragmatic and prosodic analysis of interjections in conversational speech

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


DiSS-LPSS Joint Workshop 2010 - 5th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech and 2nd International Symposium on Linguistic Patterns in Spontaneous Speech, Tokyo, Japan, p.75-78 (2010)



discourse, DiSS, interjections, meaning, prosody


In this paper we report on our research on the pragmaticcontextual meaning and prosody of three interjections ey, wa, and oh. A detailed qualitative-contextual analysis of our corpus shows that these interjections share important contextual and prosodic characteristics due to their similar functional status with respect to new or unexpected information. We show that there are also significant differences in contextual meaning arising from specific emotional or cognitive states, and that these differences are expressively communicated in the varied prosody of each interjection.


University of Tokyo; September 25-26, 2010