Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 17-21, 2006

Unfilled Pauses in Japanese Sentences Read Aloud by Non-Native Learners

Hiroko Hirano (1), Goh Kawai (2), Keikichi Hirose (1), Nobuaki Minematsu (1)

(1) University of Tokyo, Japan; (2) Hokkaido University, Japan

Perception experiments suggest that natives judge non-native unfilled pauses as indiscriminate and indecisive. Multiple regression analyses of unfilled pauses indicate a connection between syntactic structure and pause location and duration. Native speakers uniformly pause at large syntactic breaks with marked duration, whereas non-nativesí unfilled pauses are spread over various locations, possibly reflecting limited syntactic planning. Our method might be used to synthesize appropriate unfilled pauses in text-to-speech systems, and to train pausing behavior in automated pronunciation learning systems for nonnative learners.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hirano, Hiroko / Kawai, Goh / Hirose, Keikichi / Minematsu, Nobuaki (2006): "Unfilled pauses in Japanese sentences read aloud by non-native learners", In INTERSPEECH-2006, paper 1871-Mon3FoP.9.