15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Constituent Complexity and Types of Fillers in Japanese

Michiko Watanabe

Macquarie University, Australia

Fillers such as "um" and "uh" are believed to be concerned with on-line speech planning. In the present study I researched on two questions: 1) whether fillers tend to be uttered when the upcoming phrase contains more information, 2) whether difference in types of fillers reflects different planning processes. For the first question I examined the complexity of phrases by measuring numbers of morae, words and "bunsetsu" phrases in them using the Corpus of Spontaneous Japanese. The result has revealed that phrases are more complex when they are preceded by fillers than when they are not. For the second question I examined the ratios of the four major syntactic boundaries as to the usage of five types of fillers. The ratios differed depending on filler types, particularly at sentence boundaries, indicating that different types of filler reflect different planning processes.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Watanabe, Michiko (2003): "The constituent complexity and types of fillers in Japanese", In ICPhS-15, 2473-2476.