2017 Volume 21 Issue 3 Pages 33-40
Filled pauses (FPs) in English can be either monophonemic ‘uh’ [ə] or polyphonemic ‘um’ [əm]. These differ temporally: shorter ‘uh’ is associated with shorter overall delay (including silent pauses). Japanese FPs are more varied, including both monophonemic ([ε], [ŋ]) and polyphonemic ([ε:to], [ɑno]) forms. This study compares the FPs of native Japanese speakers in a crosslinguistic speech corpus. Results show speakers use FPs with a lower F1 than native English speakers and strongly prefer the monophonemic form. Duration patterns are similar, but low proficiency speakers delay longer with monophonemic FPs. Results suggest possibilities for nonnative speech detection in speech applications.