Wednesday, March 18, 1998 at 10:41:58

Although I have done no research on FPs, I have taken more than a casual notice to the phenomenon. I am curious to know if you have any information about limits of noticabilty.   For example I have found that FPs are more noticeable in people who do not lower their speech volume and sometimes actually raise it when using a FP. Also, is there any data on the frequency of usuage before the FPs become noticable?

- J

That's an interesting question.  So far in my research I have not come across any study of the listener's awareness of the speaker's FP use.  The only study I know of that is near this was a test of listener's evaluational reactions to nonnative speech.   Native speakers of Spanish were recorded speaking in English and these recordings were then played for both other native Spanish speakers as well as native English speakers.  Filled pauses were noted by both groups as a source of irritation, but it was very interesting to observe that the native Spanish listeners were *more* annoyed with the speakers' disfluencies.  The native English speakers were much more forgiving.   However, I'm not sure how to hypothesize about limits of acceptable FP use before irritation sets in.  But I think it would be very difficult to find much consistency.   Some listeners are very tolerant while others are not.

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