Authors: Kuniko KAKITA
The aim of the present study is to clarify the nature of the organization of pauses and utterances in the production of "connected speech". Multiple-sentence paragraphs were read by native speakers of Japanese in two contrasting ways, i.e., with or without a sentence-medial pause in each of the sentences constituting a paragraph. The speech data were analyzed acoustically to find out how the introduction of sentence-medial pauses affected the durational organization of the rest of the paragraph, viz., sentence-final pauses and pre-pausal segments. Results indicate that the insertion of sentence-medial pauses clearly affects the duration of sentence-final pauses. The effect, however, was speaker dependent. In one speaker, the sentencefinal pauses became longer in the presence of sentence-medial pauses, resulting in a longer overall duration for paragraph delivery. In another speaker, the sentence-final pauses became shorter, showing a trade-off relation between the duration of the two kinds of pauses. Despite this individual difference, speakers were consistent in their use of preferred strategy across paragraph types and repetitions. The effect of sentence-medial pauses on the durational property of utterances was distinctly observable in the form of lengthening of the syllable preceding sentence-medial pauses as well as in the form of lengthening of paragraph-final syllables in a limited number of instances.
sentence-medial pause, sentence-final pause, prepausal lengthening, connected speech