What are (dis)fluency markers?

The main objective of this work package is to design a common typology of (dis)fluency markers that is valid across the spoken and signed modalities, in
English and in French, and in native and non-native language use.

In our comparative endeavor such a typology is needed as a baseline across the different work packages, a kind of “tertium comparationis” (Connor & Moreno
2005) that will ensure that the full linguistic potential of each language (form or use) is given consideration.

In line with the componential approach taken in this project, the typology is meant as an aid to classifying and categorizing the (dis)fluency markers or “fluencemes” (Götz 2011) under investigation. 

We will take Götz categorization of fluencemes as a starting point for our typology of (dis)fluency markers which will have to integrate language specific features and uses (WP2, WP4, WP5), quantitative and qualitative prosodic features/patterns (WP3), sign language parameters (WP3), as well as finegrained discourse marker distinction (WP5).

Götz (2011) draws between fluencemes of production on the one hand and fluencemes of perception on the other hand:

Fluencemes of production:
● temporal variables (smoothless or continuity of speech, e.g. speech rate, unfilled pauses, length of runs, articulation ratio)
● formulaic sequences
● speech management strategies (repeats, filled pauses, self-repairs)
● small words and discourse markers

Fluencemes of perception:
● accuracy
● idiomaticity
● intonation
● accent
● pragmatic features
● lexical diversity
● sentence structure
● register/genre/text-type

Fluencemes of production are those features that were traced in the production of (native and non-native) speakers. They “establish nativelike fluency on the part of the speaker, (...) they are caused by the planning pressure the speaker encounters in speech production” (Götz 2011: 42).

Fluencemes of perception are those features that were isolated in the perception experiments, subsuming those “that establish nativelike fluency on the listeners' part” (ibid. 43).

Of particular relevance to our project is Götz’ extension of the typology with non-verbal fluencemes, “that might either be seen as productive or
perceptive fluencemes depending on their functions” (ibid. 43). She lists:
● gestures
● facial expressions
● body language


L. Degand & A. C. Simon


| 14/02/2013 |