Thursday, March 19, 1998 at 14:19:34

Very interesting! Why do some people do more FPs than others? - Is it because some people are more skilled in contolling the situation/discussion than others.

I am finding now that as I type I am making FP's.  - I pause for a secend to think about how I am going to phrase this.

- C

This is a very good question.  Why do some people use more FPs than others?   This is also a difficult question because it requires looking into cognitive functions which are not well understood.  However, a variety of factors may be hypothesized.  Some reasons may be psychological.  There is some evidence to suggest that filled pauses increase with the level anxiety a person feels.  When faced with a more nervous situation, one's speech is filled with more hesitations.   Also, there may be sociolinguistic resasons. If one's peer group tends to use a particular hesitation strategy (for example, as many young people these days say 'like' and 'you know') then one may be more inclined to use the same strategy to show 'solidarity'.  Yet another reason may be connected to the speech we hear during our early formative years.  If our parents' speech is particularly pause-filled we may develop a similar pattern (for example, my father and I).  However, some, through conscious effort, learn to master pauses in their speech reaching the point where they use them at the right moments for the greatest effect (note such great orators as Winston Churchill, etc.). I imagine everyone's speech pauses are influenced by at least one if not all of these factors.

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