Function Word Repetitions Emerge When Speakers Are Operantly Conditioned to Reduce Frequency of Silent Pauses
Authors: Howell P.; Sackin S.
Source: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Volume 30, Number 5, September 2001 , pp. 457-474(18)
Beattie and Bradbury (1979) reported a study in which, in one condition, they punished speakers when they produced silent pauses (by lighting a light they were supposed to keep switched off). They found speakers were able to reduce silent pauses and that this was not achieved at the expense of reduced overall speech rate. They reported an unexpected increase in word repetition rate. A recent theory proposed by Howell, Au-Yeung, and Sackin (1999) predicts that the change in word repetition rate will occur on function, not content words. This hypothesis is tested and confirmed. The results are used to assess the theory and to consider practical applications of this conditioning procedure.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 2001-09-01