DiSS-LPSS Joint Workshop 2010

The 5th Workshop on Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech
The 2nd International Symposium on Linguistic Patterns in Spontaneous Speech

Tokyo, Japan, September 25-26, 2010

Utterance-Initial Elements in Japanese: A Comparison among Fillers, Conjunctions, and Topic Phrases

Michiko Watanabe (1), Yasuharu Den (2)

(1) Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan
(2) Faculty of Letters, Chiba University, Japan

Speakers need to plan the following part of speech under the pressure of a temporal imperative at utterance-initial positions. Each language seems to have some devices to solve this problem, which we call utterance-initial elements (UIEs). We investigated effects of two factors, boundary strengths and complexity of the following constituents, on the durations of possible UIEs, such as fillers, conjunctions, and topic phrases. We found that the last mora of filler e, as well as wa-marked topic phrases, became longer as the complexity increased in certain conditions. Possible interpretations for the results are discussed.

Index Terms. utterance-initial elements, prolongation, boundary strengths, constituent complexity

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Watanabe, Michiko / Den, Yasuharu (2010): "Utterance-initial elements in Japanese: a comparison among fillers, conjunctions, and topic phrases", In DiSS-LPSS-2010, 31-34.