Second International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP'92)
Banff, Alberta, Canada
The paper analyzes hesitation sounds ("shwas") occurring in free conversation. Shwa has been described as a featureless vowel with no articulatory target of its own. However, most of the studies involving shwa have considered shwas occurring in unstressed syllables within a word or similar close-knit unit. The present paper analyzes occurrences of shwas as hesitation sounds in unrehearsed conversation. The results of the acoustic analysis indicate that shwas occurring as hesitation sounds resemble the sounds [/\] or [a] found in stressed monosyllables produced by the same speakers, and thus cannot properly be called targetless. There appears to be no coarticulation between hesitation shwas and preceding or following sounds.
Bibliographic reference. Lehiste, Use / Erickson, Donna (1992): "Hesitation sounds: is there coarticulation across pause?", In ICSLP-1992, 923-926.