Non-Fluency features in discourse


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  • Can create emphasis e.g. disapproval
  • Can also leave time to think of a response
  • Can mark a change in topic or direction
  • Pause fillers or Non-Verbal signs e.g. "umm...err" can be examined similarly

Pauses are a flaw in syntactic construction, errors in articulation, hesitations and self repairs etc.

Media professionals in interviews speak spontaneously rather than reading the pre-ordained questions in order to secure effective and "natural" communication. Spontaneous is not necessarily synonymous "functionally inadequate"...

Whilst many disfluencies tend to go unnoticed by the listener, filled pauses may have some communicative import

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  • Indicates the speaker's awareness of the addressee
  • Can include ADVERBS e.g. Well, right, and ADVERBIALS e.g. I mean, you know, sort of
  • Monitoring features can invite interaction and can therefore be seen as co-operative
  • Self-monitoring of overt speech can be used to limit damage from a previous, utterance by using SPEECH REPAIRS - Initiating a repair can renegotiate the meaning and understanding of a particular utterance where a discrepancy in understanding has occurred between the two speakers.
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Grammar & Syntax


  • Incomplete grammatical structures(Knowledge of the addressee may make completion un-necessary)
  • Incomplete syntactic construction
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