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Creaky fillers and speaker attitude: data from Swedish

Horne, Merle LU (2009) In Where prosody meets pragmatics: research at the interface 8. p.277-288
Abstract
Spontaneous data from Swedish are presented which suggest that ‘creaky

voice’ associated with the filler EH ‘UH’ is related to the realization of the

speaker attitude ‘uncertainty’ in the sense of ‘indecisiveness’ as regards the

optimal way to linguistically code referents and predicates. It is suggested

that creaky fillers express a certain degree of speaker indecisiveness as

regards the most relevant way in which to express the content of a

proposition. The idea follows from the assumption of the existence of an

’accessability hierarchy’ (Ariel, 1988) that constrains the way information is

coded in relation to the assumed background knowledge of... (More)
Spontaneous data from Swedish are presented which suggest that ‘creaky

voice’ associated with the filler EH ‘UH’ is related to the realization of the

speaker attitude ‘uncertainty’ in the sense of ‘indecisiveness’ as regards the

optimal way to linguistically code referents and predicates. It is suggested

that creaky fillers express a certain degree of speaker indecisiveness as

regards the most relevant way in which to express the content of a

proposition. The idea follows from the assumption of the existence of an

’accessability hierarchy’ (Ariel, 1988) that constrains the way information is

coded in relation to the assumed background knowledge of conversational

partners.

By comparing three different phonetic realizations of EH, it was observed

that creaky EH occurred in contexts that non-creaky realizations of EH did

not; non-creaky fillers appeared to be more related to non-interactional

features, i.e. prominence marking on the one hand, and discourse segment

boundary marking on the other hand.

It is suggested that the considerable drop in fundamental frequency

(pitch) associated with creaky EH could create an intonational mismatch

with respect to the preceding discourse. The intonational clash could signal

by means of pragmatic inference, an attitude of uncertainty.

The assumed attitude of uncertanity associated with creaky fillers is

supported by the fact that other interactional devices are sometimes present

in utterances containing creaky EH, e.g. liksom ‘like’, a pragmatic particle

associated with uncertainty as well as to politeness.

In order to strengthen the ideas presented here, however, more extensive

data need to be analysed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
uncertainty, speaker attitude, creak, Filler, intonation
in
Where prosody meets pragmatics: research at the interface
editor
Barth-Weingarten, Dagmar; Déhé, Nicole; Wichmann, Anne; ; and
volume
8
pages
277 - 288
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • other:E-ISBN: 9789004253223
  • scopus:84949455841
ISBN
978-1-84950-631-1
1750-368X (Series)
DOI
10.1163/9789004253223_013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1c39a955-cd87-4cda-adc8-fc926114f8ca (old id 1464387)
date added to LUP
2009-08-20 09:57:33
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:05:26
@inbook{1c39a955-cd87-4cda-adc8-fc926114f8ca,
  abstract     = {Spontaneous data from Swedish are presented which suggest that ‘creaky<br/><br>
voice’ associated with the filler EH ‘UH’ is related to the realization of the<br/><br>
speaker attitude ‘uncertainty’ in the sense of ‘indecisiveness’ as regards the<br/><br>
optimal way to linguistically code referents and predicates. It is suggested<br/><br>
that creaky fillers express a certain degree of speaker indecisiveness as<br/><br>
regards the most relevant way in which to express the content of a<br/><br>
proposition. The idea follows from the assumption of the existence of an<br/><br>
’accessability hierarchy’ (Ariel, 1988) that constrains the way information is<br/><br>
coded in relation to the assumed background knowledge of conversational<br/><br>
partners.<br/><br>
By comparing three different phonetic realizations of EH, it was observed<br/><br>
that creaky EH occurred in contexts that non-creaky realizations of EH did<br/><br>
not; non-creaky fillers appeared to be more related to non-interactional<br/><br>
features, i.e. prominence marking on the one hand, and discourse segment<br/><br>
boundary marking on the other hand.<br/><br>
It is suggested that the considerable drop in fundamental frequency<br/><br>
(pitch) associated with creaky EH could create an intonational mismatch<br/><br>
with respect to the preceding discourse. The intonational clash could signal<br/><br>
by means of pragmatic inference, an attitude of uncertainty.<br/><br>
The assumed attitude of uncertanity associated with creaky fillers is<br/><br>
supported by the fact that other interactional devices are sometimes present<br/><br>
in utterances containing creaky EH, e.g. liksom ‘like’, a pragmatic particle<br/><br>
associated with uncertainty as well as to politeness.<br/><br>
In order to strengthen the ideas presented here, however, more extensive<br/><br>
data need to be analysed.},
  author       = {Horne, Merle},
  editor       = {Barth-Weingarten, Dagmar and Déhé, Nicole and Wichmann, Anne},
  isbn         = {978-1-84950-631-1},
  keyword      = {uncertainty,speaker attitude,creak,Filler,intonation},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {277--288},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {Where prosody meets pragmatics: research at the interface},
  title        = {Creaky fillers and speaker attitude: data from Swedish},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004253223_013},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2009},
}