Monitoring and self-repair in speech
Making a self-repair in speech typically proceeds in three phases. The first phase involves the monitoring of one’s own speech and the interruption of the flow of speech when trouble is detected. From an analysis of 959 spontaneous self-repairs it appears that interrupting follows detection promptly, with the exception that correct words tend to be completed. Another finding is that detection of trouble improves towards the end of constituents. The second phase is characterized by hesitation, pausing, but especially the use of so-called editing terms. Which editing term is used depends on the nature of the speech trouble in a rather regular fashion: Speech errors induce other editing terms than words that are merely inappropriate, and trouble which is detected quickly by the speaker is preferably signalled by the use of ‘uh’. The third phase consists of making the repair proper The linguistic well-formedness of a repair is not dependent on the speaker’s respecting the integriv of constituents, but on the structural relation between original utterance and repair. A bi-conditional well-formedness rule links this relation to a corresponding relation between the conjuncts of a coordination. It is suggested that a similar relation holds also between question and answer. In all three cases the speaker respects certain Istructural commitments derived from an original utterance. It was finally shown that the editing term plus the first word of the repair proper almost always contain sufficient information for the listener to decide how the repair should be related to the original utterance. Speakers almost never produce misleading information in this respect. It is argued that speakers have little or no access to their speech production process; self-monitoring is probably based on parsing one’s own inner or overt speech.
Publication typeJournal article