Effect of the Content Complexity on Hesitations in Adolescents’ Narratives

Open access


The paper presents analysis of the hesitations in adolescents’ narratives. The speech disfluencies in the adolescents differ from those of the adults by frequency of self-corrections and pauses of hesitation. The adolescents rarely turn to repair their narratives but often interrupt the speech flow by pauses while telling a story stimulated by a wordless book. The lack of self-corrections reflects the specific problems with self-control and self-regulation due to immaturity of the executive function. Narrating about a complex multi-propositional event, the adolescents often experienced hesitation that provoked more self-repairs and hesitation pauses compared to the telling the story about a simple event. The description of the relatively simple content was more complicated syntactically than that of the multi-propositional event. Meanwhile, the content complexity significantly influences frequency of the silent hesitation pauses.

Berman, R. A. (Ed.). (2004). Language development across childhood and adolescence (Vol. 3). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Berman, R. A. (2007). Developing linguistic knowledge and language use across adolescence. In E. Hoff & M. Shatz (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of language development (pp. 347-367). Chicester: John Wiley and Sons.

Berman, R. A., & Slobin, D. I. (Eds.). (2013). Relating events in narrative: A crosslinguistic developmental study. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Bondarko, L. V., Volskaya, N. B., Tananaiko, S. O., & Vasilieva, L. A. (2003). Phonetic properties of Russian spontaneous speech. In M.-J. Solé (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 2973-2976). Barcelona: ICPhS Organizing Committee.

Brocki, K. C., & Bohlin, G. (2004). Executive functions in children aged 6 to 13: A dimensional and developmental study. Developmental Neuropsychology, 26(2), 571-593. doi: 10.1207/s15326942dn2602_3

Bokus, B. (2004). Inter-mind phenomena in child narrative discourse. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 14(4), 391-408. doi: 10.1075/prag.14.4.01bok

Croft, W. (2012). Causal structure in verbal semantics and argument realization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ferreira, F. (1993). Creation of prosody during sentence production. Psychological Review, 100(2), 233. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.100.2.233

Goldman-Eisler, F. (1961). A comparative study of two hesitation phenomena. Language and Speech, 4(1), 18-26. doi: 10.1177/002383096100400102

Hawkins, P. R. (1971). The syntactic location of hesitation pauses. Language and Speech, 14(3), 277-288. doi: 10.1177/002383097101400308

Iomdin, L. L., & Lobanov, B. M. (2009). Syntactic correlates of prosodically marked elements of the sentence and their role in the tasks of-text-to-speech synthesis. Kompjuternaja Lingvistika i Intellektual’nye Texhnologii: Trudy Mezhdunarodnoj Konferentsii “Dialog 2009” [Computational Linguistics and Intellectual Technologies: Proceedings of the International Conference “Dialogue 2009”], 8(15), 136-142.

Katinskaya, A., & Sharoff, S. (2015). Applying multi-dimensional analysis to a Russian webcorpus: Searching for evidence of genres. BSNLP 2015, 65.

Kibrik, A., & Podlesskaya, V. (Eds.). (2017). Nightdream stories: The corpus study of Russian discourse. Moscow: Litres.

Kravtchenko, E. (2014). Predictability and syntactic production: Evidence from subject omission in Russian. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 36(36), 785-790.

Laurinavichute, A. K., & Fedorova O. V. (2010). Effects of hesitation in speech on syntactic structure in comprehension: Evidence from Russian speakers. Kompjuternaya Lingvistika i Intellektual’nye Tekhnologii: Trudy Mezhdunarodnoj Konferentsii “Dialog 2010” [Computational Linguistics and Intellectual Technologies: Proceedings of the International Conference “Dialogue 2010”], 9(16), 279-283.

Levelt, W. J. (1983). Monitoring and self-repair in speech. Cognition, 14(1), 41-104.

Lickley, R. J. (2015). Fluency and disfluency. In M. A. Redford (Ed.), The handbook of speech production (pp. 445-474). Malden, MA: Wiley Blackell. doi: 10.1002/9781118584156.ch20

Lynch, J. S., & van den Broek, P. (2007). Understanding the glue of narrative structure: Children's on-and off-line inferences about characters’ goals. Cognitive Development, 22(3), 323-340. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2007.02.002.

Mayer, M. (1969). Frog, where are you? New York, NY: Dial Press.

Newmeyer, F. J., & Preston, L. B. (Eds.). (2014). Measuring grammatical complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nippold, M. A., Frantz-Kaspar, M. W., Cramond, P. M., Kirk, C., Hayward- Mayhew, C., & MacKinnon, M. (2014). Conversational and narrative speaking in adolescents: Examining the use of complex syntax. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(3), 876-886. doi: 10.1044/1092- 4388(2013/13-0097).

Nippold, M. A., Frantz-Kaspar, M. W., Cramond, P. M., Kirk, C., Hayward- Mayhew, C., & MacKinnon, M. (2015). Critical thinking about fables: Examining language production and comprehension in adolescents. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58(2), 325-335. doi: 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0129.

Podlesskaya, V. I. (2015). A corpus-based study of self-repairs in Russian spoken monologues. Russian Linguistics, 39(1), 63-79. doi: 10.1007/s11185-014- 9142-1.

Potapov, V., & Potapova, R. (2017). Jazik, reč, lichnost’ [Language, speech, personality]. Moscow: Litres.

Potapova, R., & Blochina, L. (1986). Sredstva fonetičeskogo členenija rečevogo potoka v nemetskom I russkom jazykah [Facilities for phonetic segmentation of speech flow in German and Russian]. Moscow: Linguistic University.

Rose, R. L. (2013). Crosslinguistic corpus of hesitation phenomena: A corpus for investigating first and second language speech performance. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH (pp. 992-996). Lyon: International Speech and Communication Association.

Schneider, U. (2016). Hesitation placement as evidence for chunking. In H. Behrens & S. Pfänder (Eds.), Experience counts: Frequency effects in language (pp. 61-90). Berlin: De Gruyter.

Scontras, G., Badecker, W., Shank, L., Lim, E., & Fedorenko, E. (2015). Syntactic complexity effects in sentence production. Cognitive Science, 3(39), 559-583. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12168.

Skehan, P. (Ed.). (2014). Processing perspectives on task performance (Vol. 5). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Slobin, D. I. (2006). What makes manner of motion silent? Explorations in linguistic typology, discourse, and cognition. In M. Hickmann & S. Robert (Eds.), Typological studies in language. Space in Languages: Linguistic Systems and Cognitive Categories (Vol. 66) (pp. 59-81). doi: 10.1075/ tsl.66.05slo

Stein, N. L., & Glenn, C. G. (1975). An analysis of story comprehension in elementary school children: A test of a schema. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED121474.pdf

Ventsov, A. V., Slepokurova, N. A., & Snjuguina, E. A. (2011). Osobennosti pauzatsii spontannogo i pročitannogo tekstov [Specific features of pausing in reading and spontaneous speech]. In V International Workshop „The Analysis of Russian Spontaneous Speech (AR3-2011) (pp. 27-32). Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Petersburgskij gosudarstvennyj universitet aerokosmičeskogo priborostrojenija.

Zwaan, R. A. (2016). Situation models, mental simulations, and abstract concepts in discourse comprehension. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(4), 1028-1034. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0864-x

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.34

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.144
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.359


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 106 106 33
PDF Downloads 38 38 21