A descriptive analysis of the use of filled pauses among native and nonnative speakers of English

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A descriptive analysis of the use of filled pauses among native and nonnative speakers of English
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1994.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 175-179).
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by JoEllen M. Simpson.

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A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF FILLED PAUSES
AMONG NATIVE AND NONNATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH















By

JoELLEN M. SIMPSON


DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY





























Copyright 1994

by

JoEllen M. Simpson












ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my committee members for their support and


coaching through this project.


As chair, Dr. Roger Thompson was able to


steer me in the right direction to make a stronger dissertation.


Dr. Diana


Boxer, as cochair, was invaluable for her information on methodologies and


understanding


conversation


analysis


ethnography.


would


especially like to thank Dr. Norman Markel for giving me moral support,


advice


, and help with the statistical analysis.


for sticking with me


through all


I thank Dr. David Pharies


of the changes and also thanks to


Patricia Craddock for being the outside member.


Special


thanks go to my parents,


Marita and Philip Simpson, for


their support through the years.


They have provided the moral and mental


foundation needed for me to make it through all the years of school.


And


finally thanks go to


Luis


Renteria for his undying support through


emotional roller coaster of preparing this dissertation.

Although many people helped make this dissertation a reality, the

mistakes that remain are mine alone.











TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii

ABSTRACT vi

CHAPTERS

1 AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FUNCTIONS
OF FILLED PAUSES 1
Functions of Filled Pauses 7
Providing Planning Time 7
Managing Turn-Taking 13
Analysis of a Speech Sample 14
The Search for Other Functions of Filled Pauses 21
Outline of Subsequent Chapters 23

2 ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS 26
Methods 26
Part One: Defining a Three-Function Analysis of
Filled Pauses 29
Providing planning Time 30
Managing Turn-Taking 32
Softening for Politeness 34
Part Two: Exploring Three Samples 39
Situation One: Discussing Body Odor 39
Situation Two: Asking for a Favor 46
Situation Three: Responding to Personal
Questions 52
Summary of Ethnographic Responses 54


3 FILLED PAUSES AS PLANNING IN NATURALLY
OCCURRING CONVERSATIONS 55
Procedures 56
Subjects 56






Methods of Analysis 60
Clause-Boundary Planning 62
Managing Turn-Taking 72
Topic Switching 75
Side Sequences and Interruptions 80
Clause-Internal Planning 84
Summary of Filled Pauses as Planning 94

4 FILLED PAUSES AS SOFTENING IN NATURALLY
OCCURRING CONVERSATIONS 95
Favors 97
Responding to Personal Questions 1(B
Miscellaneous Sensitive Topics K(B
Other Repair 118
Conversational Closings 119
Summary of Filled Pauses as Softening 121

5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS OF FILLED PAUSES
IN NATIVE AND NONNATIVE SPEECH 123
Numerical Analysis 127
Discussion 131
Theoretical Implications 137
Pedagogical Implications 14)
Conclusions 143

APPENDICES

A TRANSCRIPTION KEY 145

B TRANSCRIPTS OF ETHNOGRAPHIC INTERVIEWS 147

C SAMPLE OF TRANSCRIPT FROM ANALYSIS OF
CONVERSATION 164

REFERENCES 174

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 179












Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF FILLED PAUSES
AMONG NATIVE AND NONNATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH

By

JoELLEN M. SIMPSON


December 1994


Chair: Roger M.


Thompson


Major Department: Linguistics

This dissertation presents an analysis of the use of filled pauses in the speech

of native speakers of American English and nonnative learners of American English.

A filled pause is defined as a nonlexical sound that occurs as a hesitation in speech.


Filled


pauses


often


occur


conjunction


with


silent


pauses


are frequently


considered to function only to provide a speaker with thinking time while speaking.


understand


filled


pauses,


methods


research


are used.


series


ethnographic interviews of naive native English speakers provide the basic functions


of the filled pause as used by this


group of speakers.


A subsequent analysis of


conversational dyads provides evidence that corroborates and adds to the functions

described in the ethnographic interviews.

Based on the information collected from published literature, plus the two
ft -_ ,-. J 4 .**/







Two main uses of filled pauses emerge:

2) to make a sensitive situation more pol:


1) in planning for forthcoming speech and

ite. Overlapping the planning function we


see planning filled pauses used to manage turn-taking, to switch topics, and to


recover from side sequences or interruptions.


Similarly, the function of softening


covers a variety of situations, from asking and responding to favors, to answering

personal questions, to closing conversations, to repairing other speakers' mistakes, and

to dealing with many other assorted taboo topics, ranging from alcohol to bathrooms.

When the speech of native and nonnative speakers is examined, filled pauses


are found to be much more common in nonnative speech than in native speech.


main difference between the two groups is in the distribution of filled pauses in the


two main functions.


Nonnative speakers use filled pauses mainly for gaining planning


time,


with very little use of filled pauses in sensitive situations.


On the other hand,


native speakers use filled


pauses


for both functions.


Implications for the


use of


ethnographic interviews in ESL research are examined, and the importance of filled

pauses in ESL pedagogy is also discussed.













CHAPTER 1
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FUNCTIONS OF FILLED PAUSES


Every person who has tried to learn a second or foreign language


knows the difficulties of speaking as fluently as a native.


Some try to build


fluency by focusing their attention only on grammatical constructions and


pronunciation of new sounds.


For others


, fluency is simply the ability to


speak rapidly without any hesitations.


But is fluency more than speed and


good


grammar?


hesitations


important


part


fluency


comprehensibility? How does the speaker take time to plan for forthcoming


speech


without yielding the


floor to the other speakers?


Hesitations of


various types provide that thinking time.


Without them, speakers cannot


plan


their speech


in advance.


And from


listener's


perspective,


absence of hesitations could make comprehension more difficult because


there is not enough time to process the incoming information.

hesitations can even pass on subtle meanings to listeners. O


In addition,


ne particular


type of hesitation of interest for us is the filled pause.


The


question


then is


what are


filled


pauses


what are


their


functions? Basically, the definitions that have been given thus far fall short

of providing us with an understanding of filled pauses and what they are








used for.


There have been many interpretations and little agreement even


about the physical manifestation of filled pauses.


For example, Goldman-


Eisler (1961) defined filled pauses as simple sounds of hesitation, i.e


sounds: /a, e,


se, r,


ea, ri-V


Faerch and Kasper (1983:215) described filled


pauses as pauses that involved[] some nonlexical vocal cord activity like


er, erm, uh."


one of the better definitions


, Dollaghan and Campbell


(1992) suggested that filled pauses were "conventional but nonlexical,


syllable,


one-


filler vocalizations, such as um and er" (61).


First


it is


important to explain


the significance of hesitations


general and to describe the role of filled pauses in native speech.


Four


scholars


in particular,


Goldman-Eisler


(1964),


Richards


(1983),


Leeson


(1975),


and Rehbein (1987), have discussed how native speakers are able


use


hesitation strategies


their


benefit


without


receiving


negative


reactions from listeners.


These researchers noted that a great amount of


hesitation,


including the use of filled


pauses,


was quite


natural


among


native speakers.


Goldman-Eisler


(1964)


and


Richards


(1983)


both


explained that as much as one third to one half of speaking time could be


made up of hesitations (including silent and filled


pauses,


false starts,


repetitions,


other


strategies


used


speakers


gain


time


when


speaking).


Goldman-Eisler wrote that "evidently pausing is as much a part


of the act of sDeakine as the vocal utterance of words itself,


which suggests








Similarly,


Leeson


(1975)


argued


that


despite


length


time


"consumed


in pausing,"


such


devices


were


"accepted


speech


community and [were] often not even consciously noticed by the hearer"


(68).


He noted that they were simply a natural part of the encoding and


decoding processes.


Rehbein (1987:102) also noted that native speaker use


hesitation


markers


such


"various


self-interruptions,


repairs,


deliberation pauses,


and other features, are granted by the


hearer (and


therefore not taken as indications of nonfluency)."


By such means, native


speakers were able to gain time to plan their next utterance without being


regarded as


inadequate speakers.


As an example of this,


Christenfeld,


Schachter


, and Bilous (1991) observed professional speakers using as many


as 3.17 'urns' per minute in a 50-minute lecture, with no negative responses


from


audiences.


These


observations


forced


them


conclude


that


"listeners are almost entirely insensitive to the use of 'ums'


and that their


impressions of both


the speaker and the message are


unaffected by the


frequency with which filled pauses are used."


Clearly if native speakers


need time to plan and to understand speech, nonnative speakers have at

least the same need and probably more.


Given the above work on filled pauses,


it seems clear that a certain


number of filled pauses are forgiven as a natural part of native speech.


The


question is, do nonnative speakers who use filled pauses enjoy the same








strategies, including filled pauses, in nonnative speech.


For example, Darot


Lebre-Peytard


(1983)


reported


that


many


native


listeners


they


interviewed considered hesitations in nonnative speech to be unacceptable.

There are people who believe that filled pauses in the speech of nonnative


speakers are signals of poor speaking ability.


However, it seems clear that


hesitations


necessary


provide


time


planning


native


speakers,


native interlocutors and teachers of second languages should not


consider


hesitations


necessarily


signal


incompetence


in the


target


language.


As with native speech, hesitation markers probably have an


important role in the language use of the learners as well.


Lennon (1990),


Weinreich (1953), and Rehbein (1987) reported that


perceived


fluency


nonnative


speakers


suffered


from


use


hesitation markers.


Lennon (1990:395),


while attempting to "quantify the


characteristics of fluency" for native and


nonnative speakers,


classified


filled pauses as "dysfluency markers."


On the other hand, he called silent


or unfilled pauses "temporal elements," which provided planning time for

the speaker. By labeling filled pauses dysfluency markers, Lennon reflected


the belief that filled pauses were in some way undesirable.


He explained


there


was


also


possibility


that


native


listeners


give


nonnative speakers the benefit of the doubt when they were speaking.


pointed out that some Americans were "unduly intolerant of some features








features as used by a] native speaker" (394).

hesitation markers such as pauses, repetition


He noted specifically that


Is and self corrections were


"more likely to be interpreted as dysfluency" if produced by a nonnative


speaker than if produced by a native speaker.


It appears that this has been


a typical attitude of native speakers, biased against the nonnative speakers,

resulting in something like a double standard, or a different interpretation

of elements of speech based on whether the speaker is native or nonnative.


Much earlier,


Weinreich (1953:21) discussed this same problem of


perception,


offered


this


possible


explanation,


based


on native


listener expectations of


a speaker.


He explained


that when


two native


speakers were conversing,


they had expectations that their partner would


have native grammar and pronunciation as well as native use of nonobvious


discourse


rules.


However,


Weinreich


reported


that


when


a nonnative


speaker talked to a native speaker, the nonnative speaker frequently did


not fulfill the expectations of


the native speaker.


Problems occurred when


these expectations


were


not met,


and the


native speaker often


did not


tolerate differences in grammar, pronunciation, or even filled pause use in


nonnative


speech.


Rehbein


(1987)


also


hypothesized


that


native


speaker


expectations


played


an integral


interpretation


nonnative speaker fluency.


Thus


, the perception of speech


produced by


nonnative speakers rested not only on the actual production of the speech,








Although


many


native-speaking


listeners


were


reported


intolerant


of hesitations


other


aspects


nonnative


speech,


some


researchers were able to find positive responses by native speakers about


the use of hesitations in nonnative speech.


For example, Raupach (1980)


reported


that one


of his


subjects


successfully


translated


lexical


fillers


directly from her L1 (French) into her L2 (English),


was not a highly fluent speaker


and even though she


she was perceived by the native speakers


of the target language as being more comprehensible.


Olynyk,


D'Anglejan, and Sankoff (1987) studied fluency of English


and French bilinguals,


particularly with regard to discourse markers.


They


found that if the speakers avoided long silent pauses


pauses or even lexical fillers (such as like,

perceived as being more fluent. Derwing


by inserting filled


you know), the speakers were


(1990) corroborated this claim


with test results that showed that an increase in the number of pauses did

not adversely affect native speaking listeners; however, increased pause

length was disruptive for listeners.

Again, with a focus on the listener, Scanlan (1987) hoped that a more

native-like use of filled pauses would result in increased comprehensibility.


After observing American learners of French,


Scanlan realized that filled


pauses surfaced[] precisely when they [were] least welcome, at moments


of linguistic distress" (350).


Scanlan knew that native speakers regularly






7

verbal pauses would greatly increase the native-like French perception of


the learners'


speech.


Therefore


, he taught American students of French


how to use filled pauses like native French speakers.


He suggested that


eliminating one distracting element (the


English filled


pause


"uh") and


replacing


with


one


that


more


closely


matched


native


speaker


expectations (the French nonlexical filled pause) would allow a learner time

to think without distracting or disturbing the native speaking interlocutor.

Functions of Filled Pauses

If appropriately used filled pauses in the speech of both native and

nonnative speakers may be valuable, what does the literature say about the


functions of filled pauses? Are filled pauses purely random, or is there a

systematicity to their use? Researchers have found filled pauses are used

primarily to provide planning time. Some scholars have also noted that


some planning pauses have the added function of manipulating turn-taking.


In these cases


, the primary function appears to be for planning, but if the


filled pause occurs in a place where speaker turns frequently shift (clause

or sentence boundary positions), there is often the added function of saving


speaker's


turn.


The


following


subsections


describe


these


overlapping functions.

Providing Planning Time

Rehbein (1987) proposed several hypotheses about how hesitations








speaking


planning


speech


happened


least


partly


simultaneously."


As a result,


"fluency depends on the activity of planning


an entire utterance in advance" (99).


He wrote that "a second language


speaker


must


sort


or create


in advance


a global


scheme


utterance which allows him


or her to build in


different parts of speech


while proceeding" (99).


As a result of this simultaneous work, the speakers


Rehbein observed had a need to hesitate while planning ahead.

By looking at what has been written about the placement of filled


pauses for planning,


we can establish that with this


kind of superficial


analysis,


filled


pauses


are regular


in occurrence


regular


classification or labeling.

Maclay and Osgood (1959) sparked a tradition of looking at where


various pause markers occurred and what they signaled.


After examining


naturally occurring speech, the authors reported that silent pauses occurred


more frequently before content words,

both content and function words. Boon


while filled pauses occurred before


ler and Dittmann (1962:216) defined


the two


types


of pauses used for planning:


juncture


pauses (or clause-


boundary pauses),


which occurred at terminal junctures, and hesitation


pauses (or clause-internal pauses),


which occurred in all other locations.


Later research by Boomer (1965) suggested that juncture pauses did not

always neatly occur at syntactic boundaries, but instead tended to occur






9

Lalljee and Cook (1969) and Cook, Smith, and Lalljee (1974) reported

that planning complex syntactic patterns influenced the number of filled


pauses.


Unfortunately, although they reported that they were intuitively


sure that a relationship existed between complexity and increased filled


pause use,


their research did not strongly corroborate this notion.


Chafe


(1980), on the other hand, found that there was a link between complexity


and the use of filled pauses in his Pear Story narratives.


He explained that


native


speakers


used


longer


pauses


when


switching from


one


topic


another


, indicating more complexity when planning a shift in topic than


with maintaining a topic.


Hawkins (1971) also proposed that the variety


options and


pressure of


choosing what to say


and how to say it


resulted in more pause time occurring at clause boundaries.


He believed


that it reflected the planning that went into speech.


Holmes (1988) obtained the opposite results.


He reported that in one


experiment,


native


speaking


university


student


subjects


used


fewer


hesitations


before embedded clauses than


before combined clauses.


suggested that this might have been a result of pre-planning of sentences


with embedded clauses


, while sentences with multiple independent clauses


were not pre-planned.


According to these researchers,


the presence of hesitations gives us


a clue


to the


planning


strategies


used


speakers


during


language







10

as "the result of universal human difficulties in organization and memory"


(250).


Likewise, Dollaghan and Campbell (1992:56) noted that different


hesitation


phenomena,


including


silent


filled


pauses,


"been


interpreted as evidence that the speaker [was] encountering significant

information-processing [or planning] demands."

As for nonnative speaker hesitations, some researchers have studied


the perception of the speaker's


of the filled pause.


fluency, which varied based on the position


For example, Schmidt (1992) noted that there existed


different types of planning for all second language learners.


non-fluent learner's pauses,


He wrote that


false starts, and other signs of hesitation


reflect the need to focus attention on the lower levels of planning


[clause-internal


planning],


whereas


fluent learners


act more


native speakers in exhibiting hesitation primarily as a reflection of
integration and macroplanning [clause-boundary planning]. (Schmidt
1992: 377-378)


other words


, higher


level


nonnative


speakers


hesitated


at sentence


boundaries or in juncture positions, while less advanced speakers hesitated


more frequently and in clause internal positions.


Yorozuya (1982) described


the same phenomena in his Japanese university students of English as a


second language.


The contrast in placement between clause-boundary and


clause-internal filled


pauses


is the clue


listener's


perception


of the


fluency of nonnative speech.


Less advanced speakers,


because of their use


of filled pauses in clause internal positions, are judged to be less fluent








Ejzenberg


(1990)


examined


nonnative


speaker


use


filled


unfilled


pauses,


repetitions


restarts


inm order


develop


a better


understanding of how filled pauses used in different ways could influence


the listener's perception of the fluency of the speaker.


In her data, fluent


speakers


paused


at clause


boundaries


without appearing to


slow


dysfluent.


In more difficult situations (for example,


the first time an idea


was expressed), there was a tendency to use more clause internal pauses,


which caused the speakers to be perceived as being more dysfluent.


From


a different research


perspective,


Deschamps


(1980)


studied


a group


French students in both their first language and English as their second


language.


found that the


number of filled pauses


increased in


second language of his subjects,


but only at the ends of sentences or in


other words, in clause-boundary positions.

Dechert (1980) studied hesitation markers as indicators of internal


verbal planning in nonnative speakers.


He looked at the speech of a single


German student of English as a second language before and after a three


month intensive language study.


He found that the speaker's language


planning was better at the end of the intensive course,


as reflected by his


more


fluent speech


with fewer


clause-internal


filled pauses,


suggesting


better global planning strategies.


Other researchers


, rather than trying to classify or locate planning







12

conversational analysis techniques to get a broader picture of filled pauses


as planning markers.


They were interested in the relationship between


various nonverbal cues and the planning of speech.


For example,


James


(1972) examined the use of the interjections "uh" and "oh."


Although her


data were not collected from naturally occurring speech but from sentences

that she made up, she offered conclusions about the different functions of


these two interjections.


Her argument rested on sentences such as


I saw


2. I saw


-uh

- oh


- twelve people at the party.

- twelve people at the party.


(James 1972:163)

in which the meaning of each was clearly different (#1 signalled the need

to plan the sentence; #2 signaled an estimation of the number of guests).


These


other


examples


supported


claim


different


planning


functions for these filled pauses.


Christenfeld


, Schachter, and Bilous (1991) described an intriguing


correlation between gestures and filled pauses.


Their research showed that


when native speakers were gesturing, they were less likely to use filled


pauses.


The authors suggested that when speakers used gestures,


they


knew what they wanted to say and did not need to take time for planning.

Contrastively, if the speakers did not know what to say next and needed

time to plan, the authors observed that they would use a filled pause rather






13
Goffman (1978) also addressed filled pauses as planning indicators.


He included them in his system of response cries,


where they functioned


mainly as place holders and signals of thought in progress.

Managing Turn-Taking


As was mentioned above


, sometimes filled pauses for planning


may


have the added purpose of turn-taking management.


Some researchers


have presented descriptions of filled pauses for planning that could also be


interpreted as having the overlapping function as turn-keepers.


The filled


pauses in these cases are audible signals to the listeners that the speakers

wish to continue without being interrupted.


Schegloff (1987) explained that for many speakers,


complex ritual of coordination and anticipation.


speaks,


conversation is a


He noted that as a person


a listener can make predictions about when the speaker will finish;


at that time the listener would be free to begin speaking.


There are times,


however,


when a speaker might not want to let the listener speak,


due to


the fact that she or he has more to say.


In this case, Schegloff noted that


a speaker could "modify the manner of his or her talk so as to circumvent,


ward off, or fight off such a start by another" (1987:208).


He explained that


one way he saw speakers doing this was by inserting a filled pause at a


sentence juncture or boundary where speaker turns often switch.


In this


manner, the filled pause signals to the audience that the speaker wants to







14

Faerch and Kasper (1984) described similar language phenomena


called gambits.


They wrote that gambits


were


"linguistic items


whose


primary function [was] to maintain and regulate discourse" (69), such as


strategies used for turn-taking and turn-keeping.

of filled pauses as a subset of turn-taking gambits,


They classified the use

with a function similar


to that proposed by Schegloff.


From


a related


perspective,


Goodwin


(1981)


noted


that


people


hesitated and used filled pauses in order to catch the attention and gaze of


their interlocutors. In this case, rather than preventing the listener from

becoming the speaker, the filled pause signals to the listeners to redirect


their attention to the speaker.

Analysis of a Speech Sample


As we can see from


these reports,


the scholars who


have studied


filled pauses have primarily looked at the planning function,


with some


additional emphasis on those that could also be interpreted as turn-keepers.

The question that should be addressed is if this description matches the


functions of filled pauses as they appear in naturally occurring speech.


order to discover if the description is


accurate,


we can


analyze speech


samples to see how filled pauses are used by native and nonnative speakers

of English.


order


accomplish


this,


minutes


were


selected


from







15

university student, and the other was a nonnative speaker of English who


came to the United States to study English.


In this transcript,


we see 17


filled pauses,


9 used by the native speaker and 8 used by the nonnative


speaker.

A look at the following exchange between a native and nonnative

speaker shows that the research so far has overlooked certain important


roles that filled pauses play in discourse.


By looking at naturally occurring


speech,


able


how


filled


pauses


used


casual


conversations.


When researchers use a systematic analysis of discourse to


discover how language works, they are able to identify objectively patterns


speech


that


inaccessible


through


introspection


or casual


observation.


Through this technique of analysis of natural speech data, we


can begin to see patterns in the use and distribution of filled pauses in the


speech


native


nonnative


speakers.


passage


below


both


speakers used a number of filled pauses.


(Refer to Appendix A for a full


key to transcription symbols used throughout this document.)



(1) A-1 M-Saudi Arabia/M-USA

1 > S. II like this uh people people who who married uh young.
2 I think that is the best way.
3 N. II think so too.
4 S. We say we say in our country, you safe to marriage very young.


marriage


marriagement


year


when


was


-,,., S S,, ,,~,,,









S. I I didn't wanted to married from Germany because then you uh
uh. Ok I cannot stay in Germany.
N. Uh huh.
S. If you married in Germany or if you married in United States, you
have to stay in the United States.
N. Yeah.
S. Because if you go back to your country it could be difficult.


Yeah.


Awkward.


Different cultures.
Uh huh.


> S.


so for


me it


was


reason


have


finish


graduate my my undergraduate and then have to go to home and
marry.
N. M-hm.


S. It took time and time Germany was not too
year I have. Last year.
N. M-hm.
S. Since last year I am married.


easy


for me.


And last


That's good.


>N.
S.
> N.


Yeah.


I don't have any child. Do you have any child?
No, um we want to wait until I get into the Air Force.
Ah yeah.


after


graduate.


Right


now


ROTC


program here?
S. Two years more, yeah?


> N. Urn it's


it's four years also.


Also. No I mean, when will you go to this military to?


N. In,


when I graduate in two years basically.


In two years you will graduate.


You have no experience


Hm?
You are now second year.
M-hm.
Second year.
Yeah.
So you you need two years more.
Two more. Then I'll graduate and then I'll go into the Air Force.


But this time


I'll be an officer.


When


when I


was in the Marine


Corps I was just an enlisted.
S. Ah yeah.
N. Yeah.
S. So then you'll have more money maybe and








> year left to graduate. And um, she'll come with me and she'll
try and get like a job on base.
S. What is her major?
> N. Um public affairs.
S. Public ((unclear))?


> N


Oh public relations.


S. Public relations.


The


first


filled


pauses (line


1) used


by this


nonnative


speaker were in clause-internal positions and functioned to provide


speaker


with


planning


time


think


words


question.

The next filled pause (in line 5) gave the speaker time to think


about


word


wanted,


although


both


first


attempted


correction


were


right


form


word.


The


second filled pause in line 5,


in the clause-boundary position before


clause


describing


when


was


married,


appeared


also


function as a planning hesitation.


The


filled


pauses


in lines 8


used


by the


nonnative


speaker


reflected


an attempt


plan


second


clause


sentence.


Apparently, he was unable to say directly what he wanted,


so after the


filled


pauses


for planning time,


he stopped and


approached the idea from a different direction.


When


explaining


reason


why


want


mnsrried in n fnrpin rnmin.rv +th nnnnatf.ivP


Qnr lr~r lltaanA turn rnnra







18

or possibly he changed his sentence after the time taken to plan the

utterance (line 18).

These planning filled pauses that occurred in clause boundary

positions could also be considered to reflect turn-keeping gambits.


The nonnative speaker knew that he had something to say


and the


filled


pause sent that message


the native speaker to


ward


interruption.


The


filled


pause


used


native


speaker


appeared in a clause boundary pc

function of planning the sentence.


It appeared to have the


But also the topic of conversation


was potentially delicate: a personal question about children.


In this


sudden change in topic into something delicate, we can imagine that


native


speaker's


"urn"


may


have


functioned


as more


than


planning marker.

But looking at only one filled pause used in this manner gives


us little


basis


analysis.


continuing


conversation,


nonnrmative speaker asked the native speaker a series of questions


about his personal life.


In response to these questions,


the native


speaker initiated many of his answers with filled pauses.


example,


with


filled


pause


native


speaker volunteered to continue with an explanation of his plans, but






19

The filled pause in line 33 also appeared to be multifunctional.

First, it appeared to provide thinking or planning time and second,


it seemed also to soften a correction.


It appeared that the native


speaker


understood


nonnative


speaker's


comment


about two


years to mean the full length of the ROTC program.


At this point,


he used the filled pause as a face-saving maneuver as he explained

that it was a four-year program.


The


remainder


of filled


pauses


(lines


49-57) could


also


examined using this multifunctional analysis.


Each one could be


identified as creating time for thinking or for planning. Additionally,


each could be


interpreted as having a softening function as


well.


Again,


the nonnative speaker was asking very personal questions,


about


which


native


speaker


might


have


been


feeling


uncomfortable.


The


filled


pause


was


used


signal


little


reluctance to discuss the money and responsibilities of a new job.


general


rule,


Americans


discuss


salaries


with


new


acquaintances.


In this conversation, immediately after this question,


the nonnative speaker asked another question, this time about the


native


speaker's


wife.


response


question,


native


speaker used three filled pauses in explaining what she was doing







20

and the native speaker was apparently signaling some reluctance to


discuss his personal life.


The nonnative speaker


however, seemed


unaware of this reluctance, or this polite signal of reluctance,


and he


continued with another question about the wife's


major.


Another


filled pause prefaced the answer (line 55).


The final filled pause (line


57) appeared to be a planning marker to give the native speaker time

to plan a correction to the title of his wife's major.


From a purely syntactic level,


we can identify placement of filled


pauses, but this does not give us much of a clue about their purpose or

function. A more sophisticated analysis reveals the use of filled pauses for


planning.


At clause


boundaries, filled pauses


provide time to


plan


clause,


while clause-internal filled pauses provide time simply to plan a


word or other smaller unit.


Many filled pauses may be understood with


this analysis,


but there are others that require further insight.


This brief


analysis of a speech sample helps to demonstrate that filled pauses are


multifunctional.


While they are being used to provide planning time,


filled


pauses at claus

speaker's turn.


e


boundaries may have the added function of keeping a


Additionally, some filled pauses may function as softeners,


attempts to soften a potentially face-threatening utterance.


This analysis


can be made by examining other components of the conversation, primarily


the subject or topic of


conversation,


also


intonation


or speech






21

The Search for Other Functions of Filled Pauses

This examination of a conversation between a native and nonnative

speaker of English indicates that the literature on filled pauses gives an


incomplete view of the roles that filled pauses play in English.


This brief


analysis hints that filled pauses should be considered to be multifaceted,

with a more complex interpretation than had been previously suggested.


From what we have seen thus far


, we can identify functions of filled


pauses


based


on the context of use.


basic contextual interpretation


reveals the primary or most usual function of the filled pause, and that is


to buy planning time while speaking.


Filled pauses occur in both


clause-


boundary


and clause-internal


positions.


Some of the filled pauses that


occur in clause boundary positions have the added role of managing turn-


taking.


In turn-taking, filled pauses provide time to plan, but they have


the added function of signalling to the listener that more speech is to come.


For the earlier researchers


this


where


analysis


of filled


pauses


stopped.


However, as we could see from the example above,


there were some


filled


pauses


occurring


both


clause-boundary


clause-internal


positions that were signalling something else.


The excerpt above indicated


a possible


further function:


filled


pauses


with


added


dimension


softening or signaling reluctance to speak. To understand this type of









semantic context; the subject or topic of conversation.


By doing this,


we are


able to understand more about the less obvious functions of filled pauses.


But how


speakers understar


we learn w]

id and use?


hat functions


One


of filled pauses that native


way is to augment our traditional


analysis of conversation with the information that can be gathered from


ethnographic interviews.


This kind of interview allows us to tap into the


tacit knowledge about filled pauses that native speakers enjoy.


can


this


by talking


native


speakers


see what


they


understand about their use of this particular aspect of speech.


In brief,


ethnographic interviews (also known as


"think


out loud protocols")


interviews in which native speakers are gently guided through a topic of


conversation


asked


explain


their


understanding


a particular


aspect of language.


These explorations reveal the implicit knowledge that


native speakers have and unconsciously use in their speech.

Spradley (1979) explained that an ethnographic interview could be


used to understand nonobvious elements of a person's life experiences.


this research


, interviews were used for the purpose of discovering what one


group of native speakers knew about filled pauses.


Due to the fact that


filled pauses are generally not consciously used, ethnographic interviews


seem


ideal


method


find


what


these


native


speakers


implicitly


knew


about


their


use.


The


knowledge


about


what


native


are








speakers


know


about


filled


pauses


can


used


help organize


more


traditionally collected data of conversational dyads.

Outline of Subseauent Chapters


There are two principal aims of this research.


The first is to look at


speech samples of native and normative speakers to see how filled pauses


are used by each group.


This includes an analysis of the similarities and


differences in use between the two groups.


The second aim is to examine


types of


data collection and analysis:


1) the


traditional


analysis of


naturally occurring conversation and 2) the ethnographic interview.


carrying


these


types


data


analysis,


they


may


used


combination to reveal an important speech phenomenon.


The remaining


chapters of this report are arranged as follows:


Chapter Two


presents


results


of the data


collected


from


ethnographic interviews of native speakers.


This information is compared


to that given by the earlier researchers presented in this first chapter.


the basis of the analyses of the functions of filled pauses that emerge from

the combination of earlier research and the native speaker insights revealed


from


the ethnographic interviews,


we are prepared for a more accurate


identification of filled pauses from naturally occurring speech data. The

analysis of this speech data is presented in Chapters Three and Four.


Chapter Three specifically explores filled pauses


in the speech








the subset of planning, managing turn-taking.


Conversational evidence


shows us that both native and nonnative speakers use filled pauses for


planning purposes.


In the data that was collected,


we can also identify


some uses of filled pauses as planning that have the added function of turn-


taking.


The data


presented in


Chapter Three


reinforces


the claims of


earlier researchers who had described these functions of filled pauses.


Chapter Four, however,


of filled pauses.


presents new information within the study


Based on the information provided by the informants from


ethnographic


interviews


plus


brief


analysis


conversation


presented above in Chapter One,


we can conclude that there is an added


dimension


filled


pauses:


specifically


softening


delicate


difficult subjects.


In Chapter Four we see examples of filled pauses that


have been identified as functioning in this manner.


Also of interest is the


realization that primarily only native speakers used filled pauses with this


function.


Filled pauses that could also be identified as softeners were much


less frequent in the speech of the nonnrmative speakers in this study.

In Chapter Five we will see a brief summary of the findings of the


ethnographic interviews and analyses of


conversations.


This leads to a


numerical analysis for the quantification of filled pauses as they occurred


in the speech data.


From this analysis, we can see striking differences in


distribution


of filled


pauses


in the speech


of native and nonnative








some


implications of the study


of filled


pauses


to English


as a Second


Language,


both in research and in classroom instruction.













CHAPTER 2
ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS

Ethnographic interviews can provide a researcher with information


that cannot be tapped with more traditional experimental methods.


chapter presents the results of


This


ethnographic interviews with ten native


speakers, indicating that there are three overlapping functions of filled

pauses. In addition to corroborating the two functions described in the


studies


that


were


reported


first


chapter


filled


pauses


used


planning and also in managing turn-taking (which overlaps with planning),

the informants were able to identify a third use for filled pauses, to soften


a delicate or sensitive subject.


This function was noted to be very broad,


covering


a wide


variety


topics


situations.


accessing


this


information, we arrive at a new


deeper understanding of filled pauses than


had been discussed before.


Methods


For the interviews


, ten informants were selected from a larger group


of native English speakers employed as conversation leaders at the English

Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Florida.

The interviewees were all undergraduate or graduate students at the








time, from one month to more than two years.


The ages of the informants


ranged between

were male. Nin


19 and 30.


Six of the informants were female, and four


of the ten informants were conversation leaders,


while the


tenth was their supervisor.


For the analysis in this study, each informant


was assigned a number randomly from one to ten and is identified only by

that number.

The ethnographic interviews were conducted by the researcher in


classrooms or offices at the


ELI, and in


two cases,


in the


homes of the


informants.


At the beginning of each interview, several minutes were spent


putting the informants at ease with casual questions about their job,


studies, or unrelated matters.


their


When it appeared that the informants felt


comfortable with being tape-recorded, the researcher first read a paragraph

aloud explaining the nature of the information needed and then asked a


general question.


The informants were encouraged to explore their initial


responses as fully as possible,


after which more specific prompts were given


to help guide the discussion to find out what they knew about more precise


hesitation phenomena.


The interviews lasted an average of


40 minutes


each.


The introductory paragraph and lead-in question were as follows:


I'm interested in the reasons why people hesitate while speaking.


You may have


noticed


that the speech


native speakers


is not


always smoothly fluent, and that at times people need to slow down


their speech in order to think.


There are different ways that people


can hesitate, for example, adding words such as "like" or "you know."
A YI n 4-l ^t nmn*nrn o + nrn l nn j +1c +n in rn nln a y nt +rii cina? nf nrnr









make noises, such as "umrn" or "uh."


In what situations would you use


an "um" or an "uh"?


From this general question, informants began to discuss what they


perceived as the role of filled pauses


in their speech.


The


information


provided by these informants that is relevant to understanding more about


functions


filled


pauses


is presented


in the


next


sections.


(Transcripts of the interviews can be seen in full in Appendix B.)


This chapter is divided into two parts.


Part One presents what the


informants said in the first minutes of the interviews.


In each interview,


the researcher began by eliciting information about the uses of filled pauses


without giving any clues about the specific nature of the research.


These


initial


minutes


interviews


were


spontaneous,


answers


represented


the explicit knowledge


that these


ten native speakers


about the use of filled pauses in American English.


The purpose of the first


general question was to get as much information about what the speaker


knew


without


probing.


This


was


important


because


provided


solid


evidence that these native speakers could isolate and identify a variety of


functions of the filled pause.


The initial responses were comprehensive,


providing corroborating evidence for the uses of filled pauses identified by


earlier


researchers


planning


managing


turn-taking)


also


providing


insight


that


filled


pauses


were


used


in softening









Because


many


informants


discussed


existence


additional function of filled pause use (softening), the second half of the

interview was aimed at collecting more specific information about subjects


that appeared to be delicate or sensitive.


In order to accomplish this, a


series of situations were brought up


in each interview.


The informants


were asked specific questions about situations that the researcher saw as

potentially delicate or sensitive, suggesting the possibility for the need of


softening or politeness.


The informants were asked to discuss how they


might react in each situation and if filled pauses would play a role in what


they had to say.


This information is presented in Part Two.


Part One: Defining a Three-Function Analysis of Filled Pauses
.-*-- --e 1s^t1 11 Tr e t io r *s 1 1 1 ** j1 11


The


information


presented


in Part One


came


from


first few


minutes of the interviews in response to the first general question:


what situations


would you


use an


um'


or an


The


responses are


divided


into


three


subsections.


The


first


defines


planning


as a basic


function of most filled pauses.


The second subsection defines filled pauses


that have the added task of manipulating turn-taking.


The final subsection


presents evidence about the hypothesis that the filled pause is used as a

softener for the sake of politeness.


'uh'?"







30

Of the ten informants interviewed, six discussed the role of filled


pauses as planning hesitations.


These informants examined planning filled


pauses from many points of view, from how a speaker gains time to plan


the best words, sentences or topics, or in responding to questions.


The


following responses showed the speakers' understanding of the complexity

of this type of filled pauses.


#9 (Female)
Where and why do you use 'ums'?

When I have a break in my thoughts. When I'm trying to say
something and I forget my train of thought, I go 'um' to give me a
second to register in my mind what I'm trying to say. And if I'm
talking to someone else, it gives them a second to figure out what I
have just said. So there are different uses for it. I think it serves
two purposes. It gives the speaker time to re-think what they're
saying, and it gives the listener time to acknowledge what has been
said.

#10 (Female)
What do you use 'ums' for?


When you are just stopping and thinking.
a question and you haven't said anything.
thinking.


Like if someone asks you
I guess just stopping and


#1 (Female)
Why do people use 'um' when they talk?


To think of a better way
mind. You have all these
them all, but you have to
you use a hesitation to get
out complete.


of saying the next thought that's on your
things in your head, and you want to say
slow down and think of an order, and so
everything situated and then have it come








Where do you use 'um'?


When you don't know exactly what you're going to say.
to collect your thoughts.


You're trying


#4 (Male)
What uses can you think of for 'ums'?


You're stalling for time; you need to think, to come
something better to say, or you can't find the word that yo
use. You're searching for something, and it's going to take
time. But I think generally it's just stalling. That's what I
for.


up with
u want to
you some
use 'ums'


Stalling as in planning?

Slowing things down.


#3 (Male)
In what situations in conversation do you use 'urns'?


I've noticed a lot when you're speaking in public. You take that
moment to get your thoughts collected. Maybe when you're at a loss
for words. When you find yourself not being able to say that word
that you know, the one word that fits there. So you go 'uh' and kind
of think about it. Also when you have a lack of words. And you
don't know what to say but you don't want to come out looking
stupid, so a big moment of silence ends your conversation, and if you


haven't finished
to maybe guide


I your point, you look kind of stupid, so you use 'uh'
you through.


As we can see from these responses, these six native speakers tell us

that filled pauses are used for what they colloquially call "gathering their


thoughts."


The literature cited in the first chapter revealed that planning


filled pauses could occur in sentence or clause boundary positions or in







32

of planning filled pauses for what they called planning for words (clause

internal) and planning for sentences (clause boundary).

Managing Turn-Taking


The


literature


reviewed


in the


previous


chapter


reported


that a


second overlapping function of filled pauses was in turn manipulation. Five

of the informants explained how filled pauses used as planning also had

this added role of letting the listeners know that more speech was to come.

The following excerpts illustrate their understanding of this special role of

the planning filled pause.



#6 (Male)


What uses of um'


do you know of?


It's a pause.


It's definitely a pause.


To maintain the right to speak.


To keep the next person from interpreting the silence as a point


where a decision is made to take a turn.


I'm not done


It's a signal.


going to continue speaking.


It means that
[ just haven't


thought of
coming and


what


haven't relinquished my turn,


going to


say.


It signals


while I'm trying to formulate what I'm going to
buy time.


#10 (Female)


that something is


so please


be patient


. It's a signal to


When do you use


'urns'?


When you're speaking and you break, that gives someone a pause to


get in.


I guess the 'um' is to continue,


I'm not finished.


thinking!"


You're


still


speaking,


your


mind


is thinking


something else.


It's just a filler for you to say








#8 (Female)
What's the difference between using an


'um' and a silent pause?


think


an 'unm'


gives


the audience


a chance


hear that


you're


getting your thoughts.


You're not just stopping and you cut them off.


It lets them know that you're still going on with what you're saying.


#5 (Male)


What uses can you think of for


'urns'?


you hesitate


there's


silence,


you might


listener'


attention.


Maybe it's used just to keep attention. As long as there


are sounds coming out of your mouth, they'll be paying attention.
you become silent too long, you might lose their attention.

And then what might happen?


They'll
you're


get distracted,


they'll


no longer


listening to


what


saying.


#2 (Male)


Why do you 'unm'


rather that pause silently?


Maybe to keep people's attention.


So they know you're about to talk.


Kind of like holding your thought in the conversation.
say something, so don't interrupt me."


"I'm about to


examination


these


responses


reveals


distinct


interpretations of this type of filled pause.


The first three informants noted


the two-sided nature of filled pauses used in this way: 1) the filled pauses


are used to


"buy time"


to plan the next utterance; and 2) they are also


signals to the listener to not begin speaking.


This is the same insight as


that given by the researchers presented in the first chapter.









The


native


speaking


informants


showed


an additional


insight or interpretation of filled pauses used in turn-taking management.


These


speakers emphasized


role of the


filled


pause


in keeping the


attention


listener.


This


particular


interpretation


been


revealed until now.

Softening for Politeness


The ethnographic interviews uncovered a third major function, that


researchers have overlooked.


In addition to planning and managing turn-


taking, the interviewees noted that filled pauses often had the added role


of softening certain difficult or sensitive situations in native speech.


responding to the


initial prompt, seven of the ten informants discussed


filled pauses as signals of politeness when talking about sensitive subjects.

These examples show us the control that native speakers have over an

element of language that has varied uses.


#3 (Male)
Where else might you use an 'um'?


I guess also when you try to interrupt somebody.


something to me and I'd say "Uh::


You can be saying


You know I don't agree with you."


In other words, I


don't just say "I


don't agree with


you," because


that's


offensive.


So maybe I would slowly interject into what you're


saying.


What role does the 'um'


play in this situation?


I think maybe to be polite.


I think you come off a lot stronger and









saying "NO!" which is kind of rude.
thing.


#5 (Male)


When do you use


'Urm'


In that sense it plays a social


'um'?


is usually used to fill a spot when you are thinking about what


you want to say.


You don't want to put your foot in your mouth,


especially if you're talking about a sensitive subject.


, as you're


talking, instead of giving somebody a pregnant pause, you fill it with
something because you're speaking.


#7 (Female)
Any other situations?


Maybe hedging.


When you're not sure if you want to say something,


or it's


bad news


or its


something that's


going to upset the other


person, you kind of "Well,


um."


You hedge.


This last informant (#7) brought up the word hedging to identify how


she saw filled pauses functioning in this manner.


Hedges may be defined


as verbal fences that help separate a speaker from a difficult subject,


other words softening devices.


or m


In many cases where filled pauses are used


in politeness,


we can also consider them to be hedges.


This is examined in


more detail in Part Two of this chapter.


#1 (Female)


Do you ever use 'um'


when you're thinking about how to say something?


Of course.


Yeah.


If I am in a situation where I have to put some


kind of information a certain way, so I won't hurt someone's


feelings,


then I'll say 'um.


Because I don't know how to say it.


I don't know


r .1 1 I .r









#4 (Female)
If you 'um' before giving an answer, is that better in some way?


, I don't think it has anything to do with being offensive or not.


I think it's


just a stall that I'll use.


I think it shows people that I'm


thinking
thinking.


about something too.


And


use


But normally, I think if I say "Um,


it to


stall


when


well," it cues people


that maybe the answer is not what they want to hear.


It builds it up


and gives me time and at the same time it gives them a little clue
that maybe the answer isn't going to be what they want to hear.

Cushioning?


That's


exactly what it is.


One of these speakers also noted that filled pauses used in this type

of situation could be interpreted as revealing dishonesty.


#10 (Female)
Any other thoughts on 'urns'?


someone


asks


something.


think


people


hesitate


sometimes if they're being dishonest.


I think if you can't say it right


away, you must be searching for something to say.


Finally, there were two speakers who addressed how the listener


might respond to a filled


pause used to reflect politeness,


revealing the


unconscious awareness of a simple filled pause.


Their answers indicated


that their responses to a speaker might be influenced greatly simply by the


use of an 'um.








#1 (Female)


Do you think the


'um' makes it easier for the other person to hear that


information?

Possibly, because they know you're struggling to say something. And


if you come out and just say something,
direct or you don't care.


So does the


they may think you're too


'um' soften it?


Yeah, it could soften the blow.


I definitely think that.


#4 (Female)
As a listener


if someone answered


, "Um,


well...


" how do you respond.


I would take that as a "NO."


Or as something that's


not definite at


I'd perceive it as something that's questionable and probably will


be not what I want to hear.


If they're hemming and hawing right


away.


If I hear it


, I think something not good is going to come out


of it.

Do you prefer a filler or no filler?

With a native speaker, I prefer to be cushioned.

So what do you think about just saying "No."


That's rude.


I'd like to have that cushion, that 'um,


' or at least to


make it seem like they thought about it a little bit; prepared me for
the let-down, then let me down.


Three informants who mentioned the need to use filled pauses with

sensitive subjects also noted a differentiation between close friends and


acquaintances.


Based on what these informants said, the need to be overly


polite would not exist among close friends.


They also noted, however, that


i1 .I Ia -i 1 1 i 1 1 1 A








#5 (Male)
Can you say more about sensitive subjects?


It depends on how well I know them.


If it is a close friend, I'd just


come out and say what there is to say, but if it's someone


don't


know that well,
embarrass them.


I have to be careful.


You don't want to upset or


For you, using an 'um'


is part of being careful?


, a part of being careful.


#7 (Female)
What is different about using a silent pause instead of filled pause?

I think it would be easier for people to lose interest or get distracted.


think it has


something to do


with


how secure


are in your


relationships with


people.


(indicating that in close relationships,


fewer filled pauses are used to fill in awkward moments),


#2 (Male)
What is it about an uncomfortable situation that would make you use an
'urn'?


Just the pauses maybe.


you're going to say.


You have to think more before you say what


So while you're thinking, you're saying 'um.


would depend on how well I knew the person.


It really depends on


the relationship with the person.


That the use of filled pauses also reflects the closeness of a social


relationship makes sense.


If social distance plays a role in pronoun use,


back-channeling,


or interruptions,


(Brown and


Gilman,


1960;


Fishman,


1978; and West and Zimmerman 1985)

use of filled pauses in politeness. To (


it should also influence a speaker's


confirm this initial analysis of filled









pauses in softening for politeness, more


information is needed.


This


presented in the following section.

Part Two: Exploring Three Samples


In order to elicit specific responses about filled pauses as used to

soften for politeness, three scenarios were introduced, and the informants


were


asked


how


they


might


use '


urms


during


these


situations.


The


situations


were


selected


order to


help


informants


focus


on this


obvious functional use of filled pauses.


By focusing their attention to filled


pause use in these highly specific scenarios, the informants were able to

produce valuable information about their internal, tacit knowledge of this

specialized language function.


The scenarios presented in the following three subsections are


speaking about body odor to nonnative students and to American friends;


2.) asking for a favor; and 3.) asking personal questions, such as age.


These


were based on actual situations that the subjects may have had to face.

Situation One: Discussing Body Odor

The first of the scenarios involved a problem that had arisen at the

English Language Institute about the body odor of several of the students.

This subject came up because it was the responsibility of the conversation

leaders to discuss the topics of health and personal hygiene and body odor


in their meetings with students.


Clearly, this topic clearly represented a







40
researcher simply asked each informant how she or he would use filled

pauses when addressing this topic in classes with nonnative speakers.

Eight of the ten informants addressed this subject and indicated that


they would


use


filled


pauses.


The


reasons


they


gave


varied,


but they


reflected


desire


ease


discomfort


a difficult


or embarrassing


situation.


One informant explained what he believed to be the role of filled


pauses in sensitive subjects in general.


#5 (Male)


When someone gets flustered.


When the subject of the conversation


falls onto a sensitive subject, lots of


start coming out.


they're reluctant to talk about something.


The following responses were given to the question,


Where


"If you have to


speak to a student about body odor


would you use any


'ums'?"


#1 (Female)
Would you use any 'ums'?


, I'd be 'umming' all over the place.


It's just going to be a big 'um'


situation because you don't want to insult them.


have to "Uh,


well, y'know."


to see that we are struggling


So we're going to


So hopefully it will give them a chance
. So hopefully if I'm stuttering, maybe


they'll see that I'm uncomfortable and they'll explain it to me.


From a slightly different perspective came the next answer.

informant's primary concern was for the reaction of the listeners. I


This


Ie saw


the role of the filled pauses as giving him time to examine and respond to








#6 (Male)


Would you use


'urns'?


Oh yeah. Quite a few.


Why?


Anytime that I've broached a sensitive subject like this,


I always use


the pause to try and judge how the person is taking what I'm saying
and get a feel for how offended they are, so that I can direct what
I'm saying in a way that they'll understand without being blocked by


anger or resentment.


So I'll use that pause to let them know that


they can speak if they want to.


The next answer reflected the speaker's concern for being able to

have the best way to word what he had to say in this kind of uncomfortable


situation.


He indicated that he would use a filled pause to create time to


think about what needed to be said.


This response blurred the line between


planning and politeness, indicating again the overlapping functions.


speaker indicated, though,


The


that the planning time would be used to think


about


best


way


something


insure


politeness


of his


utterance.


This informant also noted that there would be a difference in


how he would act with different people with whom he had varying degrees

of intimacy.



#2 (Male)
Would you use an 'urn'?


Sure!


That would be an uncomfortable situation.







42
#2 (Male-continued)
What is it about an uncomfortable situation that would make you use an
'urn'?

Just the pauses maybe. You have to think more before you say what
you're going to say. So while you're thinking, you're saying 'urn.' It
would depend on how well I knew the person. It really depends on
the relationship with the person.


Similarly, the next two informants discussed the need to plan their


statements carefully in any kind of awkward situation.


The first informant


was concerned


about the reaction


of the


listeners


and how that would


influence how she would say what was necessary.


#9 (Female)
Would you use any 'urns'?

I'm sure.


Why?


Awkward. Because I know I'm trying to get a message across to a
specific person. And I want to figure out if they're getting the
message or not. And it's an embarrassing topic for an American to
talk about because we don't talk about body care. So I think I'd be
a little embarrassed to talk about it to a bunch of strangers.


So when you're embarrassed, you use 'urns.'?


Yeah.


I probably do, now that you make me think about it.


Why?


Well, because if you're shy, like I tend to be, I don't like to be direct.
If I feel any discomfort, then I would probably pause in my speech,
or if someone asked me something that I was uncomfortable with, I








#9 (Female-continued)


Does an


'um' make a difficult situation easier?


It gives me time to register everything.


Yeah


it does


I think.


#3 (Male)
Would you use an 'um'?


Yeah,
topic,
about.


I think I


would.


And definitely when I start to present the


it's something that we don't feel socially comfortable talking


Not only body


odors


but in Level


, words


like genitals.


You're kind of


embarrassed.


So you go


punt


' you know, hesitant.


Well


, maybe when you feel uncomfortable talking about something.


Just like body odor.


You don't want to be offensive, so you're maybe


using it to hold on a minute and run it through your head before you


say it so it doesn't come out sounding wrong.


I guess in that sense


you'd use it in situations where you want to make sure you don't


come off sounding the wrong way.
a lot this week.


So definitely.


I've been using 'um'


Does it make it easier using an


Yes.


'urn'?


It makes it easier for me.


The


following


excerpt


added


similar


information,


covering


delicateness of the situation, combined with the discomfort for her and the


potential embarrassment of everyone involved.


When asked if she had any


more


general


comments


about


filled


pauses


used


in this


manner,


provided an explanation of how native speaking listeners would interpret


the use of filled pauses.


This indicated that she was aware that native


speakers understood that filled pauses provided signals to the audience that

something difficult was happening.








#10 (Female)
How would you feel in this situation?


That would be really delicate for me.


I wouldn't feel comfortable.


Would you use 'um' at all?


Probably.


Especially if I knew that student was sitting next to me.


Why would you 'um'?


I don't know
they don't kn
if they would
purpose and


if you know you're embarrassing someone, because if
ow that they have an odor problem. I don't even know
think that was directed at them. Or maybe do it on
glance at them, and maybe they would know.


How might you use an 'um' in this situation?


Because I'm trying to be
You're trying to phrase it
hard to get the exact style
about how best to say it.


delicate and not embarrass somebody.
delicately to get the message across. It's
you want. You're just pausing. Thinking
It's a thinking place.


Anything else?


I don't know
or if you're
deliberately
don't realize
"Oh, you are


if you're using the 'um' as a filler while you're thinking,
using it like an indicator to the person. Using it
or undeliberately because you've just learned and you
that you've learned that that is a way that people say,
obviously hesitating, what's wrong, what are you trying


to say." Because if people say 'um' too much, and people say,
ahead, spit it out."


the next passage,


the speaker stressed the need for the filled


pauses


to provide an element of politeness in a situation


that could be


interpreted as offensive.









#7 (Female)
How would you react in this situation?

You have to be very polite about it.


Do you think urnsn'


play a role in politeness?


Yeah.


Because you're trying not to offend anybody.


I would think


of it as a form of hedging, because you're saying what you want to


say, but you're hedging from saying it directly.
polite way.


Putting it in a more


One


informant


made


a distinction


use


between


native


nonnative speakers.


She indicated that with the nonnative speakers she


would not hesitate to discuss the problem.


But, if the situation involved


native speakers,


she would behave differently.


This indicated her belief


that while native speakers were aware of softening strategies in politeness,


nonnative speakers did not necessarily have that same awareness.


On the


other hand, seven of the informants indicated that they would use filled


pauses


soften


subject


with


nonnative


speakers


their


conversation groups.


#4 (Female)


Would you use


urns


With nonnative speakers?


I'd come


right out and say it.


But if I


approached an American


student about it, I would definitely 'um'


um.


would do that.


and say,


wouldn't just say,


"Uh, y'know,


"You smell."


well,


would


cushion it.







46

This collection of examples illustrates that the native speakers feel

that filled pauses played an important role for them in softening to achieve

politeness.

Situation Two: Asking for a Favor


The second situation presented to the informants was the problem


of asking for a favor.


Due to the fact that several of the informants had


previously noted a difference in politeness strategies between close friends


and more distant acquaintances,


the situation for discussion was described


as follows.


Each


informant was


asked how they would ask a favor of


someone they were acquainted to,


but not very close to.


For many, asking


others for favors was a very difficult situation to be in, and for this reason,

several informants simply stated that they would not ask an acquaintance.

One informant preferred to walk home five miles late at night in the rain

than to call an acquaintance and ask for a ride home.

Those who were willing to consider the possibility of asking a favor


came to the realization that 'ums'


could be used as signals to the audience


that something besides a favor was being asked.


This type of politeness


has also


been called


"saving face" by


Brown and Levinson (1978).


The


authors write that in a situation that the speaker is making himself or


herself


vulnerable


m some


way


this


case


, asking


a favor),


speaker may do something to "save face," to protect himself or herself from









asking favors may be a form of


a face saving strategy.


One


informant


explained it like this:


#6 (Male)
What would you do in this situation?


I would probably begin with an 'um.


' Or some other signal like that.


What would it be a signal of?


"I'm about to do something I


don't like.


It's going to involve you!"


"I'm about to expose myself,


so please be careful."


Does the 'ur' make it easier?


I don't know.


It's like a signal.


If you say 'um,


' I know you're about


to weasel into something or try to weasel me into something.

Any other uses of 'um'?


It can be used as a softener.


When you're asking a favor, it can be


used to soften the fact that you're making an imposition on the other


person.


Or to let the other person know that you recognize that this


could be perceived as an imposition.


Or to deliver unpleasantness.


Another informant also perceived the role of the filled pause as a


signal to the listener.


In the following passage, he addressed how the use


of an


um' would affect others in general,


and himself specifically.


#5 (Male)


In asking a favor


Perhaps.


would you use an 'um'?


came up to him and realized at the last second that


maybe I shouldn't be asking this person, the 'um' would be there.


think that kind of


'um' conveys a sense that they're hesitant to ask.


.wn I tiyr


IITT T







48

going to take up some of my time or that I'm going to have to do
something.


The following segment addressed again the issue of how the use of

filled pauses for softening depended on the closeness of the relationship.

This informant explained that when asking a favor of a close friend, there


would


little


need


this,


except


under


unusually


strong


circumstances.

in this manner


Although she suggested that she did not use filled pauses

, she indicated that she had been aware of others using this


strategy,.


#7 (Female)


When you ask a favor,


would you use an 'um'


with a close friend?


No, not unless it would put them out. And then I would probably
wait for a long time until I could just say it. But my roommates do


sometimes.


I've heard them put them in there.


Asking a favor could potentially be face-threatening, and several of

the informants recognized the added softening characteristics of the filled


pause in these cases.


One informant explained how this worked for her.


#1 (Female)
If you have to ask someone to do a favor that they may not want to do,
would you use an 'um'?

Most definitely.








#1 (Female-continued)
Why?


It just softens the blow.


It's just like in the other case, like when


you're telling them something that they don't want to hear. It's
almost the same as saying that you know that they possibly won't do
it or they might not want to do it. But they might. You never know.
It depends on the way you say it, maybe. It could soften the blow,
and you might get a different reaction. Maybe they'll pick up on you
wanting to ask this favor, knowing that it's difficult for you to ask it.
So you're 'umming.'

Do you think it's more polite?


In a way it is more polite.
ask a favor, I don't come o
this for me." I don't talk
y'know, y'know, y'know."


Because I find myself whenever I have to
ut and say, "Oh, do you think you can do
like that. I say, "Y'know, do you think,


As a recipient of a request for a favor, are you more accepting if a person
uses 'um.'


Yeah. Yeah, I think so. It's almost like you're saying to them
without saying anything that it's really hard to ask. And I think
they're going to be more receptive. I don't think it's conscious.
People don't say 'ums' because they know they're going to get a
favorable response. I think they just do it naturally.


One other informant tapped into his native speaker knowledge of the


emotional impact of using a filled pause with a request for a favor.


recognized his own use of this politeness strategy to convey that the request

might not be well received by the listener.


#3 (Male)
Would you use an 'um' in asking a favor?









know you feel uncomfortable about having to ask them.


I would.


So I think


To show the person that I know I'm putting them out.


As a recipient of a request, which is more polite, with an 'urn'

I'd rather receive it with that emotion, that filler. It le


or without?


ts you know


that the other person


maybe.


You feel like


- tones


it down a


little


- less


, "Yeah, I'm going to help this person."


intrusive
Because


they're showing you that they are not really comfortable with what


they're doing.


So yeah, I think if somebody asked me without it and


somebody asked me with it, it would make a difference in the way I
took it.


In the following two segments,


the insight was put forth that the


filled pause in asking personal questions was used as a planning strategy.


These


speakers


again


blurred


boundary


between


planning


politeness


indicating


an awareness


of the


multifunctional


use


of filled


pauses.


For these two speakers,


the purpose of the filled pause was to


allow extra time to plan in order to make the next utterance, the asking of


the favor


, more acceptable.


This first informant indicated that she did not


like to manipulate people,


and she needed the extra time provided by the


filled pause to plan for the most strategic and least offensive way to get the

desired results.


#9 (Female)
Would you use an 'um'?

Yeah of course, because I don't know them so well, and I go to ask
them the question, I'm way out of line for asking the question in the


first place.


They have no obligation to me.


And I'm desperate.


"








#9 (Female-continued)


Does the 'um'


make it easier for you?


gives


me time


work


m my


mind


how


going


manipulate this person.


'urn' sounds nicer.


It doesn't sound as


direct.


When you use an 'urn' before it, then you're going to soften


I think.


use an


'um'


and soften it, it's not as forward and


direct, and it gives you more of a chance to say no.
so direct, it puts the person I'm asking in shock. I


If I just ask, it's
[t doesn't prepare


them for what I'm going to ask.


So I thing the


'um' kind of helps.


The following speaker expressed a similar desire to plan ahead to

give herself time to make the request look appealing.


#8 (Female)
How would you ask a favor?

Beat around the bush.

Do you think you would use any 'ums'?


Oh, sure


would.


probably would because


I'm going to have to


constantly be thinking of things,
I would.


to make it look enticing.


sure


The responses by these last two informants were different from


other informants.


They provided yet another insight into how these native


speakers perceived their language.


While some indicated that a filled pause


used in this manner was a signal to the listener or a marker of politeness,

other native speakers interpreted this behavior as planning time for the


speaker to find the least offensive way to ask the question or favor.


This


nI ~ I*~n n~rr Clr n C n m I I i I; C1 IH nlj nill n i nH nln:n Wl~nr: r] nn 1:C1\ nW :nCn~nYlnCn~:nH







52

Situation Three: Responding to Personal Questions

The final situation presented to the informants was the problem of


responding to


personal


questions.


The


informants


were


given


several


potential topics,


such as age,


income, or weight, and were asked about how


they might answer such a question.


The situation that provoked the most


illustrative examples was


a person asked a


woman her age,


and she


simply answered with a filled pause.


The informants were asked how they


would interpret the response.


One


informant


noted


that


native


speakers


have


communicative competence in the use of filled pauses.


She described the


type of person she would expect to violate the unspoken rules of using a

filled pause in response to a personal question.


#7 (Female)


If you receive a response of only 'um'


too a question,


how do you react?


Even here if you're a native speaker, but just a very self-centered,


unobservant native speaker,


you still might say,


"Well?


Answer


please."


Most people would realize,


"Oh, that's


Never mind."


The following responses came


from


three of the


males


who were


interviewed.


They appeared to have a more defined idea of the delicateness


of the situation than the female informants.


These males indicated that


they would interpret a filled pause as a definite sign of reluctance from a








#3 (Male)
When you ask a woman,
would you do?


"How old are you?" and she answers "Um::" What


would feel like I asked something that was,


Insulting.


insulting


some


people


that I was too early.
feel uncomfortable


speaking about certain things.


If I had asked somebody "How old


are you?"


and instead of saying,


, I'm 29," they


said,


"Um:


would feel uncomfortable with my question.

What would you do then?


I wouldn't push it.


I wouldn't ask again, no, or not necessarily the


age thing, but if you were asking someone out on a date,


"Mm::," you know immediately that's
about it.


#6 (Male)


If you receive an


That she's


um' as a response to a question,


and they go


not enthusiastic


how do you react?


I would probably give it a second, and if they didn't come right back,


then


would


say,


"Excuse


none of


business.


Never


mind."


Respect their right to privacy.


They're giving me that gap,


that lapse of language so I can insert my apology.


the 'um' being used as reluctance

Yeah. in that context.


#5 (Male)


How would you interpret an 'um'


as a response to a personal question?


If I ask a woman her age,


and she tells me right away, it's


not a big


issue for her.


But if an


'urn'


comes out


obviously an issue for


her.


The


female


informants


on the other


hand


, had


tendency to


h\^"il O1 O +t1o T oT n rn on onnn,'nl'nrJ n nf^t L* nsa n nr4 n--^4-l t11 n.Jl ^








see that for this


particular case,


there


is a difference


in interpretation


between males and females with regard to the use of filled pauses and their

significance.

Summary of Ethnographic Responses

The passages presented here showed that the native speakers who


were


interviewed


were


aware


multifunctional


behavior


filled


pauses.


The ten informants discussed aspects of filled pauses in planning,


managing turn-taking, and even in softening difficult situations.


These


responses corroborate what other researchers have said about planning and

turn-taking, and they also provided insight that filled pauses had a third


use in softening


for politeness.


In order to


see


how these insights match


filled pause use in naturally occurring speech, Chapters Three and Four

present an analysis of spontaneous discourse between native and nonnative













CHAPTER 3
FILLED PAUSES AS PLANNING IN
NATURALLY OCCURRING CONVERSATIONS


As we have seen, researchers have identified planning as the primary


function of filled pauses.


We have seen corroboration from native speakers


who


have


described


same


function.


was


also


noted


that some


planning


filled


pauses


served


a second


in managing


turn-taking,


particularly in protecting the speaker's


right to a turn.


provide evidence


interpretation,


this


chapter


presents


examples of naturally occurring filled pauses from the speech of both native


and nonnative speakers.


Speech samples from both native and normnnative


speakers were analyzed because it is important to understand the functions


of filled pauses for both groups of speakers.


An analysis of native speech


alone is informative, but it cannot tell us what nonnative speakers do with


filled pauses.


A careful


comparative analysis


may provide us with


differences


similarities


filled


pause


use


in these


groups


speakers.


This


knowledge


make


aware


potential


miscommunication in conversations between speakers across cultures.








The chapter is presented in the following format:


of the procedures for the collection of

presented in two main sections. The fir

that occur in clause-boundary positions.


After a description


data, examples from the data are


'st examines planning filled pauses

After a general discussion of filled


pauses


occurring


boundary


positions,


there


three


additional


subdivisions of clause boundary filled pauses used for planning.


The first


in planning


with


additional


function


managing


turn-taking.


Following


this


are two


more


subsections


that


describe


additional


functions that emerged from this analysis of speech.


The first is in topic


switching and the second is in side sequences and interruptions.


After a


presentation of examples explaining each of these, there will be a discussion


planning filled


pauses


occurring


clause-internal


positions.


Each


section


includes


examples


filled


pauses


uttered


both


native


normative speakers.


Procedures


Subjects

In order to examine the use of filled pauses in native and normnnative


speaker speech,


eighteen pairs of subjects were tape recorded.


Each pair


consisted of one nonnative speaker and one native speaker


36 speakers.


for a total of


The native and nonnative speakers were selected based on


specific criteria.







57

The native speaker subjects were all students at the University of

Florida and were enrolled in an introductory linguistics class at the time


tape


recording.


native-speaker


subjects


were


native-


English speaking citizens of the


United States.


They were selected as


subjects


based


on their


willingness


to participate


conversation


partner program at the English Language Institute (ELI) at the University

of Florida, from which the nonnative speakers were selected.

The ELI is an intensive English language program for international


students


, affiliated with the University of Florida.


Many of the students


plan


attend


university


or the


local


community


college


after


completing


course.


The


provides


instruction


from


high


beginning to high intermediate/advanced levels.


placed into one of six levels,


Students at the ELI are


and are initially assigned to these levels based


on an


oral interview,


a writing test, and the Michigan test of language


proficiency.


The students take classes in reading,


writing, grammar


oral


skills, and they also have a small selection of optional classes available to

them, including a TOEFL preparation course and different conversation


groups,


including the conversation partner program.


This program pairs


ELI students who desire more conversational contact with native-English-


speaking


undergraduate


students,


often


exchange


informal


instruction in the students'


native languages.







58

The nonnative speaking subjects were students enrolled in the ELI.


Similar


American


subjects,


they


were


chosen


based


on their


willingness to participate in the conversation partner program.


However,


in order to test a group of nonnative speakers at similar levels of language

development, subjects were selected from available students in Level 4A


and Level 4B


, levels of high-intermediate English proficiency.


Based on


their placement in the levels by the three evaluation tests, an assumption

was made that the subjects represented a reasonably homogeneous group


in spoken English ability.


All of the subjects had taken some classroom


instruction in English in their home countries prior to coming to the United


States


been


studying


English


at the


between


months.


As can be seen in Table 1


, the students represented a wide variety


of language backgrounds.

Data Collection


Each


pair


speakers


met


several


times


tape


recorded


approximately 30 minutes of one of their conversations.


The conversations


took place in many locations, ranging from the lounge at the ELI to local


restaurants


private


homes


telephone


conversations.


The


native


speakers were given tapes by the researcher and were instructed to record


a casual


conversation.


Each


native


speaker


subjects


made


arrangements to record the conversations using a variety of tape recorders










Table 1
Nonnative Speaker Subject Information


Subject


Country of
Origin


Level


Gender


Gender of
American


Partner


A Saudi Arabia 4B M M
B Indonesia 4B F F
C Taiwan 4B F F
D Panama 4B M M
E Brazil 4B F F
F Turkey 4B M M
G Venezuela 4B F F
H Taiwan 4B F F
I Taiwan 4A M M

J Japan 4A F F
K Venezuela 4B F F
L Spain 4A F F
M Taiwan 4B F F
N Taiwan 4A F F
0 Taiwan 4A M M
P Korea 4A M F
Q Spain 4A M F
R Korea 4A F F







60

that were available to them, from portable microcassette recorders to larger


stereo systems to telephone answering machines.


The quality of the tapes


varied, but each was clear enough to allow an accurate transcript to be


made.


The


speakers


were


told


to speak


on any


subject and


were


coached in any way by the researcher.


The audiotapes were returned to the


researcher


American


conversation


partners.


From


each


tape,


approximately


10 minutes were transcribed and checked for accuracy. In


transcribing the tapes, an attempt was made


to record every word and


filled pause that was spoken.

Methods of Analysis


Researchers have successfully used analysis of conversation to reveal


patterns in language that are not readily noticeable to casual observers.


systematically


examining


occurrence


a single


linguistic


item,


researcher can make conclusions about subtle uses that occur somewhat


beyond the consciousness of the average language user.


Although they use


these language patterns every day, they are unable to explicitly describe


what they do.


By analyzing conversational discourse,


we can learn more


about the language in use around us.

For the current study, an analysis of filled pauses was conducted.

Filled pauses were identified as nonlexical sounds produced by speakers.

In order to narrow the search for those specific nonlexical noises that could







61
and transcripts of conversations among different groups of native English


speakers.


There was a total of 85 filled pauses that were identified in these


66 transcribed segments.


There were two forms of filled pauses that were


used: the most common was "um" (with 50 out of 85 filled pauses),


and the


second was "uh" (with 35 out of 85 filled pauses).


With this knowledge of the physical characteristics


of native-speaker


filled pauses,


the search for filled pauses in the collected data began.


After


transcribing the tape segments of each of the 18 pairs of speakers described

in the previous section, the analysis of discourse was accomplished by first

identifying each occurrence of the filled pause.

It quickly became apparent that although "um" and "uh" were very


frequent,


there were more than these two pronunciations of filled pauses


used by native and nonnative speakers.


The speakers used the following


nonlexical sounds as filled pauses for hesitations: "um," "uh," "m," "em," and


"ey."


Other nonlexical sounds that were used


, but not as filled pauses were


as follows:


M-hm


-agreement, affirmative response


Uh huh


-agreement,


affirmative response


Ah(!)

Oh(!)

Ugh


-sudden understanding

-understanding or realization

-sound of distaste, dislike








Huh?


-(rising intonation) questioning,


asking for repetition


Huh


-(falling intonation) noncommittal response


After all of the filled pauses were located,


they were identified as


being either in clause-boundary or clause-internal position.


Finally,


context surrounding each filled pause was examined to discover if the filled


pause occurred in association with a delicate or sensitive topic.


Based on


this information, a decision was made regarding the use of the filled pause


simply


as a hesitation,


or as a hesitation


plus


a softener.


identification of filled pauses came the following analysis.

Clause-Boundary Plannine


From


this


As a reminder of where clause-boundary pauses could appear, in


addition


where


we would


expect to


see them


sentence


or clause


boundaries,


Boomer (1965) reported that a position after the first word of


a clause was common as part of a false start to a sentence.

The first passage showed a nonnative speaker using a filled pause to


make time to plan his next clause.


The filled pause here gave the speaker


time to think about what he wanted to say as well as how to say it.


It also


served the purpose of letting the native speaker know that the normative


speaker


was


planning


something.


(The


">" indicates


containing the filled pause(s) being discussed.)








(1) I-1


M-Taiwan/M-USA


NN.
NS.
NN.
NS.


When you go to Taiwan.
Yeah.
Go Taiwan, and uh you face many many problems.
Oh, ok.
And you have to write down some sentence.
Oh. Ok. Like in this book here?


following


example,


nonnative


speaker


was


trying


remember the details of an evening with her friends when they went out


to dinner and to a dance club (Kaos),


help her.


and the native speaker was trying to


The first filled pause in line 3 provided time for the speaker to


gather her thoughts and her grammar and to say the sentence.


(2) G-1


F-Venezuela/F-USA


Ok. So we ok so we so you can say um we were there yeah


you were right.


We were there for like two hours.


NN.


Two hours.


After that uh we were we went to the eh Kaos.


Kaos?


Another common place a clause-boundary planning pause appears is


when a speaker is having difficulties making his or her point clear.


case


In this


, many native and nonnative speakers used a filled pause to plan their


idea or sentence.


The next few examples are presented to illustrate this


particular type of planning filled pause.


following


passage,


native


speaker


appear








problematic sentence to convey the information more clearly.


The native


speaker in the next excerpt was asking the nonnative speaker if he had


ever


taken


English


classes


before


coming


United


States.


The


nonnative speaker did not make his idea clear to his partner and needed

to repeat the idea.



(3) D-1 M-Panama/M-USA

1 NS. ((laughter)) Haven't you uh I mean did you know a
2 little English before you got here or


NN.


Oh no.


That's all I know already.


NS. You didn't know it. Oh this you already
learned this already.


Yeah. Um.


When I get here I was y'know


Yeah.
Empty. No English.


The native speaker misinterpreted the nonnative speaker's answer to the


initial question.


This resulted in the nonnative speaker making an attempt


to revise his explanation to be more clear, with an "um" starting off his new


sentence.


But even with this planning, it still took him two tries (lines 6


and 8) to get the information across.

In the following example, the nonnative speaker used filled pauses


while planning the second clause of the sentence.


to successfully create


However, he was unable


what he wanted, and he abandoned it in favor of


another, prefaced by "ok."








(4) A-i M-Saudi Arabia/M-USA


NN. I I didn't wanted to married from Germany because then you
uh uh. Ok. I cannot stay in Germany.
NS. Uh huh.
NN. If you married in Germany or if you married in the United
States, you have to stay in the United States
NS. Yeah.
NN. because if you go back to your country it could be difficult.
NS. Yeah. Awkward.


In line


the nonnative speaker appeared to think about,


then give up on,


his sentence.


After he got a running start on the idea by approaching it


from a different angle,


he was able to complete his thought.


In the following example,


he wanted.


the speaker did not know how to say what


After asking aloud and continuing the planning hesitation, he


abandoned the idea completely and tried it in a different way (line 6-7).



(5) Q-1 M-Spain/F-USA


NN. So so different.


Uh first in Europe the life is more expensive


than here.


Much more expensive than here.
Uh huh.


NN.


So. And, because um it's


I like USA, but I like Spain too so.
NS. Uh huh.


um how to say some.


America I like


The filled pause in line 1 gave him time to plan his sentence,


and again in


line 6


, he needed two filled pauses for planning time.


Even though he took








In other c


ases


from


the data, a clause-boundary filled pause was


combined with the phrase,


"I think," indicating that the pause was needed


for the planning of information that was not known for sure.


This was seen


in research


James


(1972),


who


noticed


that


native


speakers


used


interjections such as "uh" to signal to the listener that they were unsure of

the information they wanted to say.

In these next examples of nonnative speaker clause-boundary pauses,


speakers


included the


phrase


think."


example (6),


nonnative


speaker was thinking of the information needed to answer a question.



(6) H-l F-Taiwan/F-USA


Dh. How many people in each group?
Five.


Five?


NN.


Um I think four


, four, year


four only four


. One


two three four. Becau- because we we have uh 17 17
students in one class.


NS.
NN.


In the cl-. Oh


So so so four in one group.


The nonnative speaker needed time to think about the correct information


to answer the native speaker'


question.


The speaker possibly used the


phrase "I think" to indicate that she was doing more than simply looking

for a word.

In example (7) the nonnative speaker also used "I think" in addition








0-1 M-Taiwan/M-USA


What was uh Jeff's


NM.


classmate's name?


Uh, Kirk.


NS. Kirk?


NN.
NS.
NN.


Yeah.
Oh.
Uh huh.


NS. Is he how long has he been here


NN.


M? About


I think three months I think.


Oh, that's all.


In this example,


the nonnative speaker said "I think" two times, indicating


that he may not have been completely confident with his answer.


in any


conversation


where


one


speaker


does


speak


language fluently, there is a chance that the speakers will not understand


each


other.


case,


been found


from


examining


data


presented here that many listeners use a filled pause at the onset of her or

his turn, providing time to understand the previous utterance. Rather than


directly indicating that they did not understand,


several speakers used this


option of using a filled pause followed by some kind of clarification question


or statement.


The


next two examples show native speakers


using this


strategy


apparently


avoid


trouble


that


may


caused


from


misunderstanding the nonnative speakers.


Example (8) was how one native speaker used this strategy.


The


nonnative speaker was trying to explain why she had trouble with speaking

English fluently, and the native speaker was not able to understand what








she was saying.


The listener needed time to think about the information


she received and to plan an appropriate utterance in return.



(8) C-1 F-TaiwarF-USA


NN.


But II should learn how to say in Eng- English


really English,


not Chinese-English.


And some um like


um uh a lot of sentence, I, uh I use the Chinese way.
NS. The order?


Ya, order, ya.


M.M.


Expression.


NS.
NN.


Uh ((unclear)) The how ((unclear))
It's different from Chinese sort of.


NS. Like the placement of words, and sentence or how you.


NN.


Is uh expression.


NS. Expression?


NN.


Ya, expression. Different,


very different from Chinese,


soII


should learn how to express.


Express yourself?
Yeah, expression self.


Expression.


The


native


speaker


not appear to


understand


what


nonnative


speaker was trying to say here.


In addition to the filled pause in line 6, the


native speaker mumbled something that might have been her interpretation

of what her partner was saying, but this did not help her to understand, as


the suggestions in lines


10 and


12 indicated.


The discussion continued


while they tried to negotiate the meaning,


with limited success.


This was


possibly the


result of what the


nonnative speaker feared:


that she was


using Chinese "expressions" instead of English expressions.


this next example,


however,


while


the nonnative speaker was






69

speaker said specifically that she did not understand what the nonnative


speaker said.


The multiple utterances of wait plus the filled pause in line


4 gave this native speaker a great length of time to process the information,


was


unable


manage


during


turn.


However,


apparently figured it out and cut off the nonnative speaker before she could

rephrase the troublesome utterance.



(9) G-1 F-Venezuela/F-USA

1 NN. and ah one of one of those? Ah one of them.
2 NS. One of them?
3 NN. Came here uh and stay with me like uh two weeks?
4 > NS. Wait wait wait wait wait uh I don't understand what you're


saying .
NN. They.
NS. One of your aunts stayed with you?
NN. Yes here.


Before the nonnative speaker could respond to the complaint in line 4, the

native speaker had enough time to think, and she interrupted in line 7 with

a rephrased version of what she thought she understood, which turned out


to be the correct idea.


Even though she said that she did not understand,


given enough time, she was able to process the information.


addition


native


speakers


being


confused


about


nonnative


speaker


speech,


there


times


when


nonnative


speakers


understand


native


speakers.


these


cases,


filled


pauses


could








listener


think


about


what


is being


said


before


asking


clarification.


In this case


, the filled pause also serves as an indication to


speaker that there


might


a problem


with


comprehension of the


previous


utterance.


The


combination


filled


pause


clarification


question often provide enough planning time for the nonnative speakers to

construct responses without waiting for the native speakers to restate or


explain. The nonnative speaker in example (10) did just that.



(10) R-1 F-KoreaF-USA

1 NS. About having a major? What do you wanna do?
2 > NN. Uh when I was in Korea? When I was in Korea I


studied art. For


NS.
NN.


Art?
Yeah. For


The nonnative speaker in line 2 initiated her utterance with a filled pause,


followed by a clarification question,


then


with the answer to the native


speaker's question.


Even


without


a clarification


question,


several


native


speaking


listeners interpreted some filled pauses correctly as indications that their


nonnative speaking interlocutors were facing a troublesome utterance.


the following two examples, the nonnative speakers produced filled pauses

in ways that were interpreted by the listeners as indicators of problems








with comprehension.


The


native


partners then provided the nonnative


speakers with explanations.



(11) N-l F-Taiwan/F-USA


NS1.


NS2.
NS1.


You know what work out.
Uh.
Exercise.


Exercise.


Y'know. Understand?


(12) R-1 F-KoreaF-USA


NS.
NN.
NS.


Like right. And over here is Criser Hall.
Um.
I'll I'll draw you I'll show you sometime.


In these two cases, the filled pauses apparently elicited further explanation

by the native speakers. It was possible that these filled pauses were simply


clause-boundary pauses to give time to think about what to say next, but

the native speakers provided more information to their nonnative speaking

partners.


These


first


12 examples


have


been


presented


within


general


category of clause-boundary filled pauses used as planning.


The purpose


for this


grouping together


somewhat different functions of the


filled


pause is to provide an overall, comprehensive picture of some of the related


uses of this kind of filled pause in a clause-boundary position.


Although


there are slight differences in the descriptions and grouningss of these first






72

examples, the uses are similar enough to suggest a single category with

subtle variations in use, that both native and nonnative speakers use.

The following three subsections describe functions of filled pauses


that


are distinct


from


those


examples


already


presented.


They


sufficiently different to be presented individually as subdivisions of filled


pauses used as planning.


The first group to be examined is planning filled


pauses with the added function of turn management,


which we have seen


before.


The second subtype to be examined is in topic switching.


In the


data examined, filled pauses frequently occurred at the initiation of a topic


also


in response


a rapid


or sudden


topic


initiation.


The


third


division of clause-boundary filled pauses that emerged from the analysis


was


in side


sequences


or interruptions of


other types.


these cases,


speakers would use a filled pause upon returning to a topic of discussion


that was


interrupted


either


an outside


interruption


or a secondary


conversation within a conversation.

Managing Turn-Taking

As we have seen, clause-boundary filled pauses have been noted as


helping with turn-taking management.

a sentence or clause boundary, the lis


If a speaker uses a filled pause at


itener frequently knows that more


speech


is to


come.


Rather than


taking the


opportunity


a sentence


boundary to begin speaking, the listener might recognize the filled pause







73
conversation were identified to illustrate control and lack of control of this

aspect of planning filled pauses.



(13) D-1 M-Panama/M-USA


You live with by yourself there?


NN.


No! I have three roommates.


Two American and one


Korean.
NS. Korean!


NN.


Yeah, one of. He also is learning Spanish ey


learning English.
NS. English, yeah?
NN. Yeah.
NS. And Spanish probably.


Uh huh, yeah,


well just but words,


you know what I


mean.


((laughter)) I know, cause,


I'm from


> NN
> NS.
NN


Go ahead


He's


, go ahead.


like David David, teach me teach me some


words.


What is called y'know.


this


case,


native


speaker


recognized


as an


indication of planning,


and he allowed the nonnative speaker to continue


with his story.

Although it was expected that native speakers would be aware of

these sentence planning hesitation markers when they were used by other


speakers,


this was not always the case.


Example (14) showed a native


speaker who missed a clause-boundary filled pause and interrupted the


sentence started by the non-native speaker.


They were speaking about a


1(~1(








(14) B-l F-IndonesiaF-USA


Whatever they want it to be they use it for.
That's good.


NS. It looks like a soccer field though,


NN.
NS.
NN.


doesn't it?


Yeah, um
It looks more soccerish.
On Monday they will the the they people no my


classmates.


Uh huh?
The students from the ELI play soccer here.


This example showed how disruptive it could be if a planning marker were


not understood by the listener.


In line 4, the nonnative speaker used a


filled pause as a planning marker, but also as a turn-keeping marker.


This


was


missed


native


speaker,


who


in line


5 interrupted


with


repetition of her previous utterance.


It took the nonnative speaker two


turns to collect her thoughts and to say the correct words.


Thus


, although


native


speakers


knew


how


use


these


markers


, they


not always


recognize them as used by the nonnative speakers.


A possible result was


miscomprehension or miscommunication.

In the following example, the nonnative speaker did not realize that

the "urnm" in line 6 was apparently a planning hesitation and that the native


speaker


had more


The


normative speaker interrupted


with an


encouraging back channel


that showed interest in the subject,


and this


allowed the native speaker to continue despite being interrupted.









(15) H-l F-Taiwan/F-USA


NN.


I never saw I never seen it.


NS. It was really good.
NN. Interesting or or excited or what.
NS. What?
NN. Is very very excited or very


Well it it's both. It's


umn


Both? Oh good.


NS. It's


exciting and and it's


it's about love also.


previous


example,


nonnative


speaker


appeared


unaware of the turn-holding role of the native speaker's filled pause.


the other hand, native control of language should include an awareness of


filled


pause


use


in other


speakers.


These


examples


were


selected


illustrate the benefit (example 13) of recognition of this particular function


of filled pauses,


and also the potential miscommunication (examples 14,


that could occur without awareness of this conversational tool.

Topic Switching


When switching topics,


many native


and nonnative speakers use


planning filled pauses,


apparently to create additional time to ensure a


proper initiation of topic.


Chafe's


(1980) work with the Pear Stories showed


that when a speaker had to provide new information or describe a change

in focus of a film, the speaker spent more time hesitating.

Additionally, a sudden change in topic could cause the listener to be


In mn fin+ 1n, tH 1c w wtn r nfl^-i nn I\ r, e


onnolrnurn n On 17 d*;f rl+L1 On rl ;n c! ort


nnnCllnn~








speaker


time


shift


new


topic.


The


following


example


illustrated this use of the filled pause.


(16) K-l


F-VenezuelaF-USA


And that was it right. Ok so um.


What did you.


Tell me


what you did on Saturday.


NN. I had


That was the da


yes.


You Saturday


On Saturday was the day your dad


was leaving.


NN.
NS.


Yes.
Ok.


In this example,


the native speaker changed the subject of the conversation


from


talking about studying


English


recent past events


by asking a


specific


question


about


what


nonnative


speaker


previous


weekend.


By starting with a filled pause,


the native speaker gave both


herself and her listener time to adjust to the new topic.


In this case


filled pause made a transition that was hopefully easier to follow.

A nonnative speaker using a filled pause at a clause-boundary to


initiate a topic switch occurred in example (17).


This was the end of a


discussion about taking the TOEFL.



(17) C-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA


NS. Well, you've taken it once, you know exactly what
r_ nrv V. ^ n An |4 fl flt w? wrnIr rlr nyt yatm nI t r -.nrk^ at I








Hm. Um. Ha- do you know um how to see the um palm
reading?


NS.
NN.


Do I know how to do it?
Yeah, yeah.


After several filled pauses and a false start, the nonnative speaker initiated

a new topic, and the native speaker went naturally into the new topic with


no difficulties.


In this


particular case,


filled pauses


helped


with a


successful


transition.


The


speakers


in example (18) followed


a similar


pattern.


(18) A-1


M-Saudi Arabia/M-USA

;. Um Yeah. The um political science is um. For the courses there


is a lot of writing and a lot of term papers um arguing what I'd like


to do really is um,


I'd like to study some like foreign relations


international relations and stuff like that.


That's


mainly what I


wanna focus on.


And uh


NS.
NN.
NS.


In this exa


, how long have you been here in Gainesville?


In Gainesville? Um. About like a year and a half.
Year and a half.
Yeah.


Lmple, the native speaker was answering a question about his


studies at the university. In line 6, the nonnative speaker used a filled

pause in to introduce a topic switch, to which the native speaker responded

with another filled pause in line 7, providing even more time to think about

the answer.

The sneakers in these examples used filled pauses as easy transitions








speakers to plan their thoughts,


but they also provided the listeners with


cues to prepare themselves to accept a topic change.


But on the other side


of the coin, if a speaker quickly switched the topic of conversation without


a hesitation,


the other speaker frequently needed to audibly hesitate in


order to plan a response.


An example of this occurred in conversation P-1.


(19) P-l M-Korea/F-USA


Not until then.


I'm gonna go to I'm gonna go play


basketball by myself.


NS.
NN.
NS.
NN.
NS.
NN.


M-hm.
So maybe
How are your roommates?
Uh my roommate my roommates are pretty good.
Good.
Yeah.


After a discussion about playing basketball, the native speaker abruptly


switched the topic with her question in line 5.


The nonnative speaker's


filled pause in line 6 was followed by a repetition of the subject, suggesting

that he needed even more time to recover from the abrupt change and to

plan his answer.


In the following example,


the nonnative speaker suddenly switched


the topic,


and in response,


the native speaker used several filled pauses,


signalling that she was planning her utterance.








(20) E-1 F-Brazil/F-USA


Yes.


very pleased. ((laughter)) That is is called self actualizing.


And when you self actualize then you become what you want to be.
Because then you accept yourself fully and you become a whole


person. So, you're doing well.


NN.


You're very good.


What kind of film do you like films eh movie do you like?


I I've seen all kinds.


Um of movies.


Um.


I don't like the


real horror movies.
NN. I don't either.


I don't like those.


The


subject


that


native


speaker


was


pursuing


lines


was


completely unrelated to the topic brought up by the nonnative speaker in


line 5.


As a result, the native speaker needed to use filled pauses in her


comprehension of the topic and her planning of what to say in response.


In this next example,


while one native speaker was explaining her


language learning experience, the other native speaker changed the topic

in line 3, and the nonnative speaker needed to use a filled pause to create

a little time to think of her answer.



(21) L-1 F-Spain/F-USA


NS1


I I took two years of Spanish. I would hope that some of it


((laughter))


NS2.


Yeah. How did you like Madrid?


Uh huh.


NS2.


I enjoy a lot, you know? I I


Yeah.
But but I was in a (boarding school) in a


Uh huh. Boarding school? No,


it's um boarding school.









these


cases


where


topic


conversation


was


manipulated,


both speakers and listeners had strategies for finding time to


plan.


When a speaker needed time to initiate a topic switch,


he or she


often used a filled pause.


Similarly, when a listener needed time to think


of information to respond to a topic switch,


she or he often began the next


utterance with a filled pause, buying time for planning a response.

Side Secuences and Interruptions


In addition to planning filled pauses existing as turn-keepers and


with topic shifts,


they also occurred after topic interruptions.


These filled


pauses


occurred


after


something


in the


way


flow


conversation,


generally


a noise


or another


conversation.


this


next


example,


a very loud motorcycle passed by, after which the native speaker


made a sarcastic comment and then used a filled pause before returning to


her narrative.


The filled pause seemed to be a signal that the conversation


would continue as soon as she found the correct place in her thoughts.



(22) R-1 F-Korean/F-USA


NS. You have to have when you're an architecture
student? I don't know that much about it? But I
know people who were in it in the School of


Architecture? Or that's


their major ((loud noise))


Nice motorcycle! Um. But they like they draw um like
sketches for layouts for buildings and stuff like when
you like where the door is and where the bathroom is






81

Interruptions occasionally came from other speakers interrupting the


conversation, as in the following example.


The two speakers were talking


to each other on the telephone, and the roommate of the nonnative speaker

interrupted the conversation.



(23) H-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA


NN.
NS.


Hold on please. Hold on.
Ok.


NN. ((to roommate)) Oh,


, ok. No no no. ((to native speaking


partner)) I get talk eh talking with my roommate.


NS.
NN.
NS.
NN.
NS.


Uh.
Hello.
Yeah.
Hello you hang up? Wake up wake up wake up
((laughter))


In example (23), the native speaker responded to the interruption with an


'tul. V


This was not interpreted as a sufficient response by the nonnative


speaker


who tried to revive the conversation by other means.


The native-


speaker laughter in the final line was not a joyous laugh,


but more of a


tolerance laugh, such as can be heard after someone tells a bad joke.


This


suggested that the native speaker became frustrated or possibly irritated


because the native speaker's attempt to return to the conversation


with


only a filled pause was not accepted by the nonnative speaker.


example (24),


the speakers recovered from a


different kind


int-r y nti-inn


'lhi rmnll ii hp rnmnarpd tn .lTffnrgnn'g (1 (Q7b "'tqireP eniinre* "








returned


main


conversational


topic.


example


(24),


speakers had been speaking of churches, then they began to speak about

the tape recording itself. After the nonnative speaker realized that the tape


recorder was on,


became nervous.


order to


return


to a normal


conversation, the native speaker began with a filled pause (line 5).



(24) H-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA


NS.
NN.
NS.
NN.
NS.
NN.


No, I am recording.
Yeh. Now you are recording?
Yeah.
Oh ((laughter))
Um, ok. I'll ask you a question.
Ok.


next


examples,


speakers


experienced


similar


interruptions by side sequences followed by audible planning pauses.


example (25),


the speakers were trying to agree on who a particular person


was in order for the native speaker to continue with her narration of a

story.



(25) P-l M-Korea/F-USA


NS. Yeah. I think. He did wear glasses.
best friend is.


The Car- his


Where where this guy live?
Oxford Manor?


NN.


Oxford. Ah


I remember.


'StP yr t r. a r iI *








following


passage,


speakers


were


discussing the


courses at the ELI when the native speaker's


roommate interrupted.


Upon


returning to the conversation in line


filled pause,


, the native speaker began with a


then a question to clarify the topic.


(26) L-1 F-Spain/F-USA


NN. Ey only
stuff.
So boring.


ey for learn English. Grammar


writing, reading.


That


NS.
NN.


((laughter)) Boring.
Not so boring. ((laughter))


Cover it


((laughter))


((interruption from roommate))


NS. Um. So it's


NN.


just mainly English courses.


Yeah.


Although


there


were


this


kind


planning


hesitation


nonnative


speaker utterances,


those


that


exist


followed


this


same


pattern.


Following an interruption, a filled pause started the utterance


that continued the conversation.


The following example was of a nonnative


speaker responding to an interrupting sneeze by the native speaker.


(27) Q-1 M-SpainrF-USA


NN. Because in y'know I in the EL ELI and in the ELI you speak
with Korean people and sometimes I speak Spanish because there
are some South American people
NS. ((sneeze))


NN.
M.Q


Bless you.
|jvro in







84

The conversation was interrupted by the sneeze and the politeness phrases


associated with it.


Upon returning, the normative speaker used the clause-


boundary filled pause before continuing with the topic.

Clause-Internal Planning


In addition to planning sentences and clauses,

speakers needed to hesitate within sentences. In


native and nonnative


the data collected for


examination, there were fewer native-speaker planning filled pauses than


nonnative


speaker


planning filled


pauses


that


were


in clause-internal


positions.


This suggested, not surprisingly, that native speakers had better


global planning skills than the nonnative speakers.

In some instances of internal planning, it was not uncommon to see

an included question that indicated that the planning was occurring at the


time of the utterance.


In the following example, the native speaker could


remember


name


restaurant


that


they


had


visited


previous week, and he combined filled pauses with the question,


"what is


it?" to give him time to think of the name.



(28) 0-1 M-Taiwan/M-USA


Yeah


So, what else is goin on? Have you eaten at the uh the uh


what is it the Palace? The Imperial Boat.


NN.


That's it.


Ah, Imperial Boat.


T~~~~1 ii fb'SI t* 1 1 S rl fl lS a


T II F 11 1 t







85

planning time generated by the filled pause, she was unable to complete

her idea.




(29) P-l M-Korea/M-USA


Did you


NS. I wanna


see any movies, this week?


see um that movie, I can't remember what


it's called. Oh now I can't remember its name.


can't remember.


NN.


((laughter))


On the other hand


, in the next example,


the native speaker was able


to recall the needed word after a brief filled pause.



(30) C-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA


NN.
NS.
NN.


Yeah


l also l


, I studies uh another city.


M-hm.
Yeah. So I um ((unclear)) I also lived outside.


rent apartment.
NS. You uh. Commute. Did you commute?
NN. Commute?
NS. Drive back and forth to school every day


The falling intonation and brief pause following this native speaker's


filled


pause suggested a rifling though her lexical files to find the correct word.


After finding it,


she blurted it out, then constructed the complete sentence


around the new word.


mi~.- -~---4. r .. -r~.


1~ f ._ ~. I


17n


C


_


1









(31) R-1 F-Kore/F-USA


NN.


Your uh your major is uh physical method?


Yeah, I changed it.


I changed my major.


((laughter)) It's


education now.


teacher. Maybe. I dunno.


We'll


I'm gonna be a
see.


The second filled pause in line


1 showed that the nonnative speaker was


groping for the name of the native speaker's


major.


Apparently they had


spoken of this previously; however


the nonnative speaker forgot exactly


what it was, and she tried to get a clarification of the information.


next


example,


conversation


was


centered


on what


classroom buildings each speaker knew.


The native speaker was surprised


that the nonnative speaker knew many different ones.



(32) F-l M-Turkish/M-USA


I know. But


see I don't I mean. Did you ever have a class in


there?


NN.
NS.


No.
See I don't know where the buildings are if I haven't had a class


in them, generally, and


NN.
NS.
NN.


I just ((unclear))
Oh.
I mean I been to


NS. Little Hall.


> NN.uh


West Library and uh,


I don't know Little Hall


. Maybe I've


been there
NS. Little Hall.
NN. but I don't know the name.








Although the nonnative speaker was familiar with the buildings,


he still


had a little trouble remembering the names.


In this case


, the filled pause


gave him time to think of the correct name before saying one in particular.

The speakers in the following example were discussing the problems


of a foreign student getting a driver's license and driving in the

States.


(33) J-1 F-Japanese/F-USA


United


NN.


You wanna drive?
Yeah. ((unclear)) It's


kinda hard for me because I I I sometimes


scare um there's


a (difference) the the the side.


Different sides of the street?


NN.


NS.


Uh yeah.
Yeah.


Uh keep uh right side right? In United States.


The


filled


pauses


here


appeared


give


nonnative


speaker


extra


moments to clarify that she was saying the correct thing.


At times


, rather than planning a single word, the speakers needed


time to think of


a list of related items.


In these cases


both native and


nonnative speakers tended to use filled pauses before each word in the list.

In examples (34) and (35), the nonnative speakers used filled pauses in this


manner.


Both speakers were trying to think of a list of items, and each


item was punctuated by an "uh."


(34) N-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA








NS.
NN.
NS.


No? Just
Somebody introduce music.
M-hm.
Somebody introduce uh their traditional game.
Wha- what col- countries was this? Like.


NN. Um in my case,
uh Puerto Rico, and


we had uh come from ((unclear)) and
uh Spain, and uh Korea, and uh


Taiwan, Japan, and uh Lithuania.


NS.
NN.
NS.
NN.


M-hm.
Yeah.


Lithuania?
Lithuania and uh Turkey.


Wow! That'


a lot of different people.


Yeah.


(35) B-1 F-IndonesiaF-USA


NN.
NS.


Yeah I should study ((laughter))
You have to study grammar. Like what kinds of words


and stuff.


Uh the passive voice, passive.
Uh huh.
Passive voice, uh, conditional if, and relative


pronoun.
NS. Ugh.


I hated grammar. I like vocabulary and er like


spelling and stuff,
NN. Oh, yeah?


In these examples,


but.


the nonnative speakers exhibited a regular pattern of


planning filled pauses in clause-internal positions to give time to plan lists


of words.


Note also that in example (35), the native speaker used the same


strategy in line 8.


What this native speaker does closely resembled several


nonnative speaker


occurrences


clause-internal


planning filled


pauses.


this


case,


native


speaker was


trying


give


a list


information, and she needed to stop and think about the individual words


-. U_ -1~. U --


T T_ t _- ___ _l -__- t_ _.. _t _. _A.








she had filed away this information as disagreeable,


possibly adding to her


slow recovery of the words.

In the following example, the nonnative speaker was unsure of the


word


was


use


in a filled


pause


indicate


that


uncertainty.


(36) N-l F-Taiwan/F-USA


Where do you want to move


Do you know?


I'm not decided um. I just move my um my packing.
Your stuff.


4 NN. Uh huh.


The nonnative speaker appeared to be unsure about a word, but was willing


to try to say what she meant,


was insecurity.


and there was a hesitation to show that there


The native speaker was aware of that uncertainty, and she


filled


in an appropriate


substitute


word


nonnative


speaker's


incorrect one.


The filled pause in this situation might be signalling to the


interlocutor


a desire


help


in a


difficult situation.


Pica,


Young and


Doughty (1987) reported that this type of interactional negotiation between

speakers was an important aid in comprehension for nonnative speakers.

In example (37), the nonnative speaker searched for the word "meal"


unsuccessfully,


substituted


"food"


when


could


retrieve


correct word.


His conversation partner did not correct him; apparently she


fully understand theft manin r


However


the aennd native snenker.








nonnative speaker'


roommate,


chose to provide the word,


to which


nonnative speaker responded positively.



(37) Q-1 M-Spain/F-USA


NN.
NS1.


So big. It's
Uh huh.


the biggest uh food in the day.


NN. So.


NS2.
NN.


Meal.
Meal.


Thank you.


Um is the biggest meal in the day


. So you


spend two hours or more.
NS1. Oh.


After


having


been


supplied


with


appropriate


word,


nonnative


speaker uttered the entire sentence over again,


prefaced with


a clause-


boundary filled pause, using the correction.


The


language


following native


ingredients.



(38) C-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA


needs


speaker showed a similar


nonnative


speaker


trying


sensitivity to


plan


word


NN.


Jh. Makes you homesick?
Yeah! I I could I couldn't find uh uh in-


ingredients in here. Some some ingredients. Only a
few. So uh
NS. Can't find all the ingredients you can get at home.


NN.


((laughter)) Yeah,


I'm I really really want go


home, but my mother says you stay there. It's ok.






91

This sensitivity to the needs of the nonnative speaker was frequently seen


other


helpful


sentence completions.


By finishing


a sentence


for the


nonnative speakers, the native speakers were helping them out when they


were struggling.


Example (38) showed the native speaker doing just that.


It was shown by some researchers that help of this kind between two native


speakers was also a signal of solidarity (e.g. Boxer

In the following example, however, the non


1993).


native speaker did not


know the word he was looking for, and the native speaker was unable to

help him.



(39) 0-1 M-Taiwan/M-USA


NN.
NS.
NN.


Tomorrow, tomorrow there is a good buffet.
Oh, really?
Yeah.


Yeah.


we should go.


M uh I I don't know in English how to call it's


name.


6 II just know Chinese name.
7 NS. Oh yeah?


In this case, the native speaker did not have enough of a clue to help the


nonnative speaker by providing the new word.


The


nonnative speaker


continued to give the Chinese name,


which


was of no help to the native


speaker


Approximately one minute following this brief excerpt was spent


unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a meaning


for this word.


r/n n .-an1 nyltjm n .' A nion n i ni onn1n f110A noion +b of 0k Q+' O








were a number of


examples of filled pauses used in this manner.


This


function


was


particularly


noticeable


speech


nonnative


speakers.


Examples (40) and (41) were typical examples of repairs.


(40) B-l F-Indonesiag-USA


NN.
NS.
NN.


Where where uh when is your last class
My last exam you mean?
My no. In two weeks we will finish.


Yeah. Fri-


I have classes all through through dead


5 week I have class.

(41) H-1 F-Taiwan/F-USA


Yes, but uh we have we uh have one free free the


international test.


The TOEFL test.


Do you


understand my meaning.
NS. See I understand, yes.
NN. We have uh uh we will be have on the April 24th.
NS. April 24th.


The nonnative speaker in example (40) started the sentence twice, before


hesitating to reconfigure her sentence,


using the filled pause before the


repair, as did the nonnative speaker in example (41).


In both cases,


appeared that the native speakers easily understood the repairs, suggesting


that this strategy worked well.

strategy for repairing errors, a


Some native speakers also used the same


s in example (42).


(42) D-1 M-Panama/M-USA


-~ -








little English before you got here or


Oh no.


In this case


That's


all I know already.


, the native speaker added the phrase


"I mean" to his filled


pause to insure that the nonnative speaker recognized that there was a

corrected utterance to follow.


many


other


cases


, native


speakers


made


corrections


their


speech without signalling in any way that they had made changes.


It was


difficult


effect


on the


listeners


this


kind


unmarked


correction.


Example (43) showed a native speaker correction with no filled


pause as a signal.



(43) F-1 M-Turkey/M-USA


But in the United States, it's


not the same.


Right.


not the same.


That's what my a Turkish guy he's


a computer engineer?


And he's gonna go back to Turkey and open up his
computer business. A computer business.


own


His own business.


In line 4, the native speaker made a correction, but he did it very quickly


with no hesitation at all.


There was some evidence that the nonnative


speaker


was


a little


confused


this


rapid


correction


because


of his


clarification comment in line


. Often these unmarked corrections by the


na-170 .nglwrvc wro rnniyrl nndl in th middrllns a f n lanorr iitrPrnfnr1 Indr f.hn