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The dual status of filled pauses: Evidence from genre, proficiency and co-occurrence

Abstract : The present corpus study aims to contribute to the debate regarding the lexical or non-lexical status of filled pauses. Although they are commonly associated with hesitation, disfluency, and production difficulty, it has also been argued that they can serve more fluent communicative functions in discourse (e.g., turn-taking, stance-marking). Our work is grounded in a usage-based and discourse-functional approach to filled pauses, and we address this debate by examining the multiple characteristics of euh and eum in spoken French, as well as their co-occurrence with discourse markers. Combining quantitative and qualitative analyses, we analyze their distribution across different communication settings (prepared monologs vs. spontaneous conversations) and levels of language proficiency (native vs. non-native). Quantitative findings indicate differences in frequency, duration, position, and patterns of co-occurrence across corpora, and our qualitative analyses identify fine-grained differences, mainly two distinct patterns of distribution (initial position clustered with a discourse marker vs. medial position clustered with other hesitation markers), reflecting the different “fluent” and “disfluent” uses of filled pauses. We thus argue for a dual status of euh and eum based on formal, functional, and contextual features.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 5:30:53 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 4:13:10 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, August 13, 2021 - 6:50:13 PM


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Loulou Kosmala, Ludivine Crible. The dual status of filled pauses: Evidence from genre, proficiency and co-occurrence. Language and Speech, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2021, ⟨10.1177/00238309211010862⟩. ⟨halshs-03225622⟩



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