2023-02-16Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/26550
Defining Filler Particles
A Phonetic Account of the Terminology, Form, and Grammatical Classification of "Filled Pauses"
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
The terms hesitation, planner, filler, and filled pause do not always refer to the same phonetic entities. This terminological conundrum is approached by investigating the observational, explanatory, and descriptive inadequacies of the terms in use. Concomitantly, the term filler particle is motivated and a definition is proposed that identifies its phonetic exponents and describes them within the linguistic category of particles. The definition of filler particles proposed here is grounded both theoretically and empirically and then applied to a corpus of spontaneous dialogues with 32 speakers of German, showing that in addition to the prototypical phonetic forms, there is a substantial amount of non-prototypical forms, i.e., 9.5%, comprising both glottal (e.g., [Ɂ]) and vocal forms (e.g., [ɛɸ], [j˜ɛvə]). The grammatical classification and the results regarding the phonetic forms are discussed with respect to their theoretical relevance in filler particle research and corpus studies. The phonetic approach taken here further suggests a continuum of phonetic forms of filler particles, ranging from singleton segments to multi-syllabic entities.
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The article processing charge was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – 491192747 and the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.