Alice’s adventures in um-derland: Psycholinguistic sources of variation in disfluency production

Scott H. Fraundorf, Duane G. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study tests the hypothesis that three common types of disfluency (fillers, silent pauses and repeated words)reflect variance in what strategies are available to the production system for responding to difficulty in languageproduction. Participants’ speech in a storytelling paradigm was coded for the three disfluency types. Repeatsoccurred most often when difficult material was already being produced and could be repeated, but fillers and silentpauses occurred most when difficult material was still being planned. Fillers were associated only with conceptualdifficulties, consistent with the proposal that they reflect a communicative signal, whereas silent pauses and repeatswere also related to lexical and phonological difficulties. These differences are discussed in terms of differentstrategies available to the language production system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1096
Number of pages14
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014


  • Discourse
  • Disfluency
  • Language production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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