Second European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Genova, Italy
September 24-26, 1991


Processing Disfluent Speech: How and When are Disfluencies Found?

R. J. Lickley, R. C. Shillcock, E. G. Bard

Centre for Speech Technology Research and Dept. of Linguistics, University of Edinburgh, UK

Disfluency in spontaneous speech presents problems for both psycholinguistic and computational models of speech understanding. However, it is not clear that the human speech processing mechanism is greatly disrupted by the presence of disfluency. This paper presents the results of three experiments on the perception of spontaneous speech: two gating experiments show that disfluency can usually be recognised by the end of the word following a disfluent interruption, while listeners' ability to recognize words is not greatly affected by the presence of disfluency; the third experiment, using low-pass filtered speech, suggests that prosodic information may have a key role in aiding the processing of disfluent speech. Keywords: speech perception; word recognition; spontaneous speech; disfluency; gating experiments; low-pass filtered speech.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lickley, R. J. / Shillcock, R. C. / Bard, E. G. (1991): "Processing disfluent speech: how and when are disfluencies found?", In EUROSPEECH-1991, 1499-1502.