Pausing strategies with regard to speech style
Speech is occasionally interrupted by silent and filled pauses of various length. Pauses
have many different functions in spontaneous speech (e.g. breathing, marking syntactic
boundaries as well as speech planning difficulties, time for self-repair). The aim of the
study was the analysis of the interrela¬tion between the temporal pattern and the
syntactical position of silent pauses (SP) on one hand. On the other hand, filled pauses (FP)
were also analyzed according to their phonetic realization, as well as the combination of
SPs and FPs. The effect of speech style on pausing strategies was also analyzed. A
narrative recording and a conversational recording from 10 speakers (ages between 20 and
35 years, 5 male, 5 female) were selected from Hungarian Spontaneous Speech Database
for the study. The material was manually annotated, silent pauses were categorized, then
the duration of pauses were extracted. Results showed that the position of silent and filled
pauses affects their duration. The speech style did not influenced the frequency of pauses.
However, silent and filled pauses were longer in narratives than in conversations. Results
suggest that pausing strategies are similar in general; however, the timing patterns of
pauses may depend on various factors, e.g. speech style.