Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

Fillers as Indicators of Discourse Segment Boundaries in Japanese Monologues

Michiko Watanabe

College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, JST/CREST, Japan

We investigated distribution of fillers (filled pauses) in the vicinity of boundaries of different strengths in Japanese monologues, to understand whether fillers may convey information about the location and the strength of boundaries. Consistent with the results of studies on Dutch monologues, fillers tend to increase as the boundary strength grows. It has also been revealed that fillers tend to occur phrase-initially, more strongly at deeper boundaries than at shallower ones. Regarding filler types, the frequency of eto grows most sharply as boundary strength increases, as does e to a lesser degree. These findings indicate that occurrence of fillers, particularly phrase-initial eto and e, provide contributory evidence to discourse boundaries.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Watanabe, Michiko (2002): "Fillers as indicators of discourse segment boundaries in Japanese monologues", In SP-2002, 691-694.