Sunday, March 8, 1998 at 20:14:41
You mentioned that someday you hope to look at other languages other than English in your research. Your website brought to mind a few instances that may be usefual as anecdotal evidence, or may spark future lines of research. It seems to me most non-native speakers of English (specifically Finns and Estonians, as these are the groups with whom I have contact) still use their native language's pause-fillers when speaking English. Although this does not hinder communication, the use of English pause-fillers instead could give an illusion of greater fluency. Finnish pause fillers seem to be longer than any we have in English ('totta, niin niin...'). And the most common Estonian filler ('noh') can potentially cause confusion when used in an English context, as it sounds like a negative reply.
Although I have spent much time on this FP research, my real job is teaching English to Japanese students. During my studies I have gradually come to realize that my students should be encouraged to use English fillers to "give an illusion of greater fluency" (as you say). A common Japanese filler, "e-to", could be mistaken for "it" in English. Thanks for the similar info about Finnish and Estonian FPs. Your information helps me to begin to expand my research outside of just English and Japanese.
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maintained by Ralph L. Rose