Hesitation disfluencies after the clause marker ATT ‘that’ in Swedish

Research output: Working paper


This study aims att developing a methodology for investigating the relationship between the fluent and disfluent productions of the Swedish conjunction ATT ‘that’ and the complexity of speech fragments following them. A study of the syntactic structure of the speech fragments following ATT and their relation to the pragmatic structure of the discourse, in particular the fragments’ role as regards the topic structure of the discourse, was made using data from one speaker. Syntactic word order patterns reveal that the pragmatic coherence between two clauses decreases with the use of disfluent ATT as compared to fluent ATT. Disfluent ATT tends to signal a new topic rather than topic continuation, and an elaboration rather than clarification, where clarification is more strongly bound to the preceding utterance. It was observed that even emotional factors correlate with to the production of disfluent ATT. Before empathetic quotations – fragments that imply recognition or imagination of other’s emotions – disfluent ATT may signal a change in the deictic centre as compared to the preceding discourse. A number of observations regarding the prosodic correlates of disfluent ATT were also made. Disfluent ATT is almost always followed by a clear prosodic boundary. In all cases but one, this boundary was marked by a silent pause, in some cases including inhalation. It was also observed that the only filled pause that occurred after a disfluent ATT was before a fragment introducing a new topic.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • disfluency, spontaneous speech, syntactic complexity, Swedish
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Linguistics, Lund University
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameWorking Papers
ISSN (Print)0280-526X

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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